Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary in doing well…”
On April 16, 2016, 2,000 people were injured and more than 654 people were killed by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the coast of Ecuador. First responders worked tirelessly for weeks to rescue people trapped within the rubble. In a tragedy like this…there are always heroes that emerge, even angels that walk among us. One hero surprised the masses…
Seven people are alive today because of the tireless efforts of this hero. His name…Dayko (you can read more of his story here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/26/dog-dies-from-exhaustion-after-rescuing-seven-people-from-earthq/). Dayko was not the hero many would have expected, in fact, he probably wasn’t the answer to urgent prayers. But when the four legged friend, a four year old white labrador, went to work…he saved lives. Using his instincts and God-given talents and gifts, Dayko worked day and night, handled by multiple teams and first responders, he wouldn’t stop…he just kept finding more men and women who were rescued. His story is remarkable!
Unfortunately, it ended on a sad note. In service to others, he lost his life. The official autopsy revealed massive coronary myocardial infarction and acute respiratory failure. In simple terms, he worked too hard. He grew weary in doing well…his heart and lungs finally gave out to fatigue.
This week our staff has been gearing up for the new ministry opportunities that are in front of us. It is an exciting time! We can see on the horizon limitless potential…simultaneously, it is exhausting. When you think about it, all ministry is. Serving people is messy business. Being a disciple of Christ is messy. Jesus’ followers dealt with prostitutes, demon possessed men, the sick, social pariahs, lepers, crowds, poverty, raging seas, and hunger. It may have been what pushed Judas over the edge…he had joined the ministry of Jesus thinking that Jesus would take him all the way to the top. Unfortunately, Jesus promised death, suffering, a crucifixion, and poverty…Judas just couldn’t take it. It wasn’t what he signed up for! But…that’s what following Jesus is.
Don’t misunderstand me, serving others is one of the greatest blessings of life and fulfilling! But it often leaves a person physically, spiritually, and emotionally drained. Serving others isn’t always accompanied with gratitude. Work is often done behind the scenes. Few people ever take a moment to consider and thank others for their service.
In all of this, it is difficult to not get a bad attitude. It is difficult to not grow weary. It is difficult to not become prideful. And…sometimes our heart just quits…
Serving others comes with risk. When you reach into the mud to pull your brother out, sometimes you get a little dirty. Counseling a friend in their tragedy, sometimes emotionally drains you. Meeting the needs of others always comes at a personal sacrifice. Dayko had to breathe in the dirty air of the disturbed ground the multitudes were trapped in…sometimes he had to go into places that were too dangerous for another to tread.
Following Jesus comes at a cost…
But the joy of serving another…the jubilee of seeing another faith in Christ…the exhilaration of a simple text message of gratitude…and most of all: the hope of hearing “well done good and faithful servant, enter into the rest of your master” makes it all worth it!
Beloved, one day, by God’s grace, we shall hear those words. One day we will be welcomed into an eternal rest. There will be no more weariness, no more sorrow, and no more tears…but until that day, may we not grow weary in doing well.