“You will find rest for your soul!” A bit of scripture. A declaration. A promise. This kept popping out from hiding in the corners of my mind.
My latest reading is Thomas Wingfold, Curate, by George MacDonald. One of the very first sermons this curate preached after beginning his real search for God was on the text in Matt. 11: 28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)
We need rest for our souls when we are tired from carrying heavy loads. Cross-cultural workers have a lot of those. We can get exhausted from work, fretting, or disappointments. A heart-deadening load settles on us when someone we love rejects the God we love so much. We compare abundance and abject poverty and wonder how to make sense of it all. Even our spiritual service deadens us when it becomes heartless spiritual activity.
Continue reading 'Quiet Soul'»
Is rest and refreshing wrong?
I hear most of you say, “Of course not!” Yet in practice we sometimes act as though rest and refreshing are sins for PWs.
We arrive on the field full of zeal for the work and buoyed by the sense of our calling. During months of adjusting to the climate, setting up our home, learning the language, and taking on our new responsibilities, the gloss of sacrifice begins to tarnish. Real exhaustion sets in. We feel tired and guilty for it.
We feel guilty if we sleep-in one morning or sneak off for a catnap in the middle of the day. We become irritable, but try with super human determination not to let it slip out. We compare what we are doing to what others seem to accomplish in a day. Depression or condemnation steals our joy.
Sometimes older PWs allow the daily routine or constant interruptions to numb their need for rest. Being so used to doing it all they don’t think anyone should need additional rest. The result is judgment of those needing rest as “weak.”
Continue reading 'Need Refreshing?'»