It didn’t take me long to figure out that being a missionary is stressful. A different country, different language, and different ways of thinking are just the beginning. There’s miscommunication, frustrations in getting almost anything done, and the constant burden of seeing so much pain and suffering around us.
It’s often a challenge for us personally as well. For example, it’s hard to see Gabriel’s struggling to learn Afrikaans. Hard to not be able to let our kids grow up around grandparents, cousins, and friends. Hard to find the spiritual renewal we crave.
Here’s the thing though. Even if we’d stayed in America, our lives wouldn’t be stress free. Most of you can attest to that. It seems that many of my closest friends are experiencing heavy degrees of stress and spiritual attack in their lives right now. Unexpected loss of a parent, cancer, job loss, financial stress, and the list goes on and on. Living in this world, no matter where we are, is stressful.
I’ve been reading through the gospels and have been struck at how much stress Jesus had to be under as he went up to Jerusalem before he died. Most of us get stressed over what “might” happen. Jesus knew he was going to die and that his death was going to be horrible. In spite of this, I was struck by how compassionate he was to the people. He longed to gather them to him. He healed them, taught them the truth, and longed for them to follow him.
When I’m stressed, I tend to want to curl up in a ball and sleep. My body shuts down and depression sets in. Jesus said in John 12 that his heart was troubled regarding his impending death. But he still managed to glorify the father with his obedience.
Take comfort in the words of a loving Savior. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentler and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Be blessed today,