Thirty years in the ministry has taught me something that is simple yet very profound. Everyone has problems. No matter who you are, it goes with the turf. Some have family struggles; some have health issues; others have financial difficulties…some even have a combination of problems. But regardless, we all have something in life that tests us…that challenges our faith. I think it is good to periodically revisit the question, “Who am I going to lean on? Who is going to be there for me?”
After 16 difficult years as a missionary in darkest Africa, David Livingstone returned to his native Scotland to address the students at Glasgow University. His body was emaciated by the 27 various fevers that had coursed through his veins. One arm hung useless at his side, the result of being mangled by a lion attack. The old missionary asked the young people who had gathered to hear him, “Shall I tell you what sustained me amidst all the toil, the hardship, and the loneliness? It was Christ’s promise to never leave me.”
Christ’s promise isn’t just for David Livingstone. It is also for you. He promises is to never leave you – no matter the problems – no matter how hard it gets. So take courage from the life of this old missionary and remember as He did the words of Jesus, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) His presence is sufficient, my friend, to see you through.
(Mark Sutton, Proclaim, Apr-Jun 1996, p.22)
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