“..people like John Calvin and Martin Luther had a dizzying variety of responsibilities, so that they could only use their gifts in the fog of fatigue. Yet the fruits of their labor as leaders and writers still bless the church.”
-Ajith Fernando writing for CT in his article, To Serve is to Suffer
This is true even for lowly stay-home moms. With schooling at home fast approaching, sleepless nights due to an almost three year old (the newborn sleeps just fine:), and life pressing in with aching bodies and crazy schedules, my “gifts” are often, if not always, used in the fog of fatigue.
I pray there will be enough of Christ’s grace over my daily work that some of it will survive the testing fires and be useful for the church: my family, my small group, my friends, etc.
He goes one to say:
“The New Testament is clear that those who work for Christ will suffer because of their work. Tiredness, stress, and strain may be the cross God calls us to. Paul often spoke about the physical hardships his ministry brought him, including emotional strain (Gal. 4:19; 2 Cor. 11:28), anger (2 Cor. 11:29), sleepless nights and hunger (2 Cor. 6:5), affliction and perplexity (2 Cor. 4:8), and toiling—working to the point of weariness (Col. 1:29). In statements radically countercultural in today’s “body conscious” society, he said, “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16)”
Paul’s sacrifice puts my miniscule one into perspective. I need to get up, be thankful for sleepless nights with children (it means I’m enjoying the gift of having children), put my arms to cheerful action, teach, clean, instruct, love, work, serve. Expect difficulty and persevere.
Preaching to myself this morning, folks.
Thank you for such an encouraging post. Often times I forget to expect difficulty in raising children and in my homemaking endeavors, thanks for the reminder!
Thank you for this reminder Abigail!! I have been feeling the pressure these past couple months and noticing bitterness creeping into my attitude rather than a humble, servant’s heart.
If you’d like to study those who have suffered and blessed the Church, I would recommend:
St. Margaret Clitheroe
St. Pio (a.k.a. “Padre Pio”)
(The movie PADRE PIO: MIRACLE MAN is excellent.)