“Come unto 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 gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Mattie (not her real name) has never been married, is intelligent, beautiful, and deeply committed to the Lord. She is in leadership at a place we taught at last October in . One of her responsibilities was to tend to our needs while we were there. She has the respect of the other leaders and the students as well. To be around her you would think she was one of the most funny, fun loving people you have ever met.
As I watched her standing alone one break time I sensed she was struggling. I asked her if anything was wrong, to which she quickly responded, “No.” I said, “You’re lying, what’s wrong?” Immediately her countenance changed and with a quivering voice she said, “Vince, I want to die!” She said, “I pray every day that the Lord will not let me live to be old (she is 42), but that He will take me.”
In , one of our interpreters, and one who is in top leadership in the school we taught at, told us how just a few months earlier she was so depressed. She had turmoil in her marriage, her spiritual life and basically stayed away from everyone. She finally had to go to a Christian Psychologist and take anti-depressants for awhile.
Another interpreter, and one who has had many ministry assignments in several countries, told us she had such strong conflict in her heart concerning her father, that while at 34 she desperately wants to get married, she finds herself not trusting and running off every man the Lord sends!
Every month in the
more than 1500 pastors leave ministry for good. 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role of pastors. 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
Man, do we sound like a group of overcoming, powerful, and excited people. No wonder we haven’t won the world to Christ! The sad fact is, and we have seen this wherever we go, that far too many “leaders” are far too wounded to lead. By no means do I suggest throwing the wounded to the curb. No, to the contrary, we need some genuine, Spirit filled, properly motivated spiritual hospitals whose main purpose is to encourage, heal and bring deliverance to these wounded soldiers. We need men and woman of God who have an understanding of the problem and who have learned how to facilitate healing in these lives.
All of us experience times of frustration and despair in the course of our life time. Just because we are Christians does not mean we will not be challenged in this way. But, we do have One who offers us rest and recuperation. We have a Rock that will carry our weight when leaned on and that will satisfy our thirst when struck by our prayers and humility.
Is it possible that we have not taught people how to come and rest in the arms of a loving caring Heavenly Father? Have we been so long without “fathers” in the church that we have too few to model this truth? (1 Cor. 4:15) Have we not yet learned how to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and to not lean on our own understanding? (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If you are like Mattie or one of our interpreters, may I encourage you to know that there is help and hope? I believe that one of the things that helped Jesus to endure everything He had to face while on this earth was His intimate relationship with His Father. He knew His limitations and He knew how to get alone with His Daddy to receive the wisdom and strength He needed!
There is a hand reaching out to you today that wants to take your hand. There is an outstretched arm that wants to lift you and hold you. There is a heart crying out that has such deep longing, love and empathy for you right now. There is a voice that waits for your hearing that desires to whisper words of comfort and cheer. There is a Daddy who wants you to trust Him and allow Him be the Father you have always wanted!
Don’t give up my friend! Every prayer has been heard and every tear recorded. This word today has not come to you by chance, but it has come by design from the One who is much bigger than you and
May you receive all that He has for you and may your days ahead be far greater than those of yesterday.