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“And being apart ain’t easy on this love affair

Two strangers learn to fall in love again

I get the joy of rediscovering you

Oh, girl, you stand by me

I’m forever yours…faithfully” – Jonathan Cain




image courtesy of David Weiss,

The other day I tried to encourage a friend who works very hard for his church and the people in it. I’ve known few people who have sacrificed as much as he has. And when you’ve been tending the soil until your back aches, it’s easy to look around and wonder where the fruit is. It’s easy to ask yourself the following questions:

“Why aren’t things getting easier?”

“Where are the results of my labors?”

“Why should I continue when it doesn’t even seem like I’m making a difference?”

As we talked and prayed, another friend reminded him that the journey is really about being faithful. Does the Kingdom rise and fall on the programs and missions work that we do? Certainly the Lord who spoke the universe into existence is capable of righting the wrongs in our society, yet God delights in using us for purposes that we sometimes don’t see. God delights in our faithfulness.

I was reminded of something my brother-in-law said to me years ago as we were talking about the parable of the sower (Mark 4). “I’m interested in the sower,” he said. “He’s faithful. He just sows!” The farmer who works the land certainly would know that birds would steal seed, thorns would strangle some of the growth and some seed would never have a chance because the ground is too yard. Yet he sows.

Nehemiah was a faithful man. When God put it on his heart to go rebuild Jerusalem, he went at it with everything he had and then we never hear from him again. But think about this:

Would Nehemiah have rebuilt Jerusalem if he had known that the Messiah would be murdered there centuries later by descendants of the very people he was protecting?

The truth is that even in our most sincere, inspired moments we never really see the whole picture. I don’t think we’re supposed to. I don’t think we’re capable in these earthly tents. But we have a purpose, even if we don’t always see it. We have a mission, even if we don’t always understand it. And we have a calling, even if we get discouraged. Like the sower, we are to be faithful.

When we stand before God in our shining new bodies that know nothing of sorrow or toil, I don’t think God is going to give us a performance review listing our past deficiencies. With mercy and grace, I think God wants—above all—to tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”



Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful

Hebrews 10:23



image courtesy of David Weiss,


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