What happens when you wake up and you just don’t feel like seeing another sunrise in your mission world? This is beyond not being a “morning person.” This is that feeling you get whenever you have to start a new day, a new week—and for some people—even a new year. This is what happens when you’re tired—tired of doing good.
I think Paul must have somehow understood that tiredness. And that in the tiredness, it’s easy to want to pull our heads inside our shells and not care so much. That’s why he wrote down some difficult but important advice in Galatians 6:9 – “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Mother Teresa must have also understood that tiredness, and found her own way to apply Paul’s advice to the hard work of loving. Here’s how she put it: “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in the small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Recently, I think God used the Seattle Seahawks to illustrate this important lesson for me when I watched them play against the Green Bay Packers for a coveted spot at the Super Bowl. The Seahawks were losing the entire game—it was 16-0 for nearly all four quarters. It was embarrassing, especially since they were in their own stadium. Everyone looked tired, with very few good plays and plenty of mistakes to make even the hardiest of fans lose hope. But something happened in the last five minutes of the game. They amazingly pulled ahead, and by the end, they were tied. The game went into overtime…and they won with the final touchdown! Because they didn’t give up. They played every minute of the game with hope, no matter what the current situation looked like.
I think God knows that sometimes we get tired—physically and emotionally–and we need to rest. But the key is, we should not give up. Perhaps even more precious to God than our willingness to serve Him is our choice to trust Him with our tiredness when we’d rather just quit. To trust Him and keep taking one step at a time by faith, one day at a time, waiting for His refreshment to come just when it’s needed most.
Maybe this is not for all of you, but here’s to the tired-Seahawks-missionaries among us: stay in the game, keep waking up, keep serving, keep teaching, keep praying, keep sharing, keep loving when it’s hard. Because “at just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
*Twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This was written by Andrea Keele, and sent on Feb. 2, 2015.