DayBreaks for 6/15/17: The Ways of Endurance
From the DayBreaks archive, 2007, from my wife’s mission blog to India:
“Oh my. I decided to work on “India Trip” stuff today (Memorial Day) and I started out making a calendar page for the dates I’ll be gone. As I looked at the finished product with only July 4th and July 20th filled in (“leave home”, “arrive home”) and all the blank (so far) places on the dates in between, I looked up to the picture part of the July page of the calendar from which I had copied my sheet. On it there was a picture of a large rock with the ocean around it. The top of the rock was filled to overflowing with plant life; trees, shrubs, undergrowth; all the way to the edges of the rock and down its sides. Between the rock and the ocean, however, you can see that the water has worn away the rock so that it is deeply indented all around. It looks like a huge, wide, roundish head full of green bushy hair sitting on a very skinny neck. Underneath the picture is the caption “ENDURANCE” in large letters. Underneath that is the quote, “Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened”.
Hmmm. I don’t like the fact that “endurance” is the subject for July when I’m on the trip; it’s too apropos and more than a little daunting. I also don’t like the picture analogy. I would think that a symbol of endurance should show something that looks very shaky, sitting on something that was very solid underneath while ocean waves pounded away. That’s what endurance is supposed to do, isn’t it, give your soul more solidity? Thinking about it though, it is probably a better picture analogy than I would like. God is the only rock which is solid. I am the one who looks more stable than I really am. Life eats away, revealing to me the truth of my fragility and dependence. Experiences of endurance such as this trip will show it to me in a much more obvious way than my normal routine does. Am I scared? Yep!!
“There is a large contingent of mostly younger people who are going to be working on landscape architecture and the large food garden on our team. One young woman showed us her plans and they were truly awesome and inspiring. She is planning and putting into place the landscape with the children playing and monsoon season in mind as her Senior Project in college at Davis. Quite a combination to plan for, isn’t it? The kids and the others there are going to love it! There will be elevated places for hide and seek and other natural play-encouraging landscape plans. Another person from UC Davis is in charge of setting up a huge food garden at the compound in India. He’s lived in the Congo before and I’m sure that helps. He told us about a fruit he loves which smells horrible and tastes heavenly. For anyone who would still like to help Little Flock and this trip in some way, this young man was discouraged to find out that he still has a lot of money to raise for his trip. Apparently some money he thought was coming isn’t coming, or something like that. If anyone would like to help him out with a donation for his trip cost, his name is “Tim”, he’s on Team One and he’s the one in charge of the food garden project. I know he would be very, very grateful.”
Galen’s thoughts: endurance is a trait we admire, but not many of us long for it, for endurance can only be developed by having to “endure.” Sometimes, it’s enduring suffering or hardship, sometimes it’s waiting…as in the case of “Tim” – waiting for God to provide all that we need. And Laurel’s right – we deceive ourselves into thinking we are stable, strong, unmovable, and all the time life is chewing away at us until we learn that we’re actually very fragile and delicate and easily destroyed. There is only on thing that never wears down or wears out or lacks for anything: Almighty God. It is a lesson we need to learn, and learn well.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for all who answer the call to “Go!” Thank You for the lessons in endurance. Help us to learn them well – and as quickly as possible! Please bless this team that goes to show and share Your love with orphans and widows and provide for every need both before they go and while they are gone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>