Every missionary knows there are times when the ground is too hard. The blade snaps against centuries old rock and the shoulder that pushes the plow screams in pain. We shut our eyes against the sweat from our brow, ignore the mosquito at our neck and collapse onto the barren earth.
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the essence of foolishness, but giving up is just cowardice.
I’m not talking about the times when Christ calls us to a different field. I’m talking about those brutally hard days when we know that we are exactly where we belong with the people we absolutely belong with; our children, our coworkers, our partners and friends.
When wisdom tells us; this is our field, then courage and perseverance must drive us back to our feet.
These are the days we walk by faith.
We look across the rocky barrenness and dream of green.
Maybe we give up plowing and focus on picking up rocks. Maybe we dig irrigation trenches. Maybe we abandon our field for a few hours, find some helpers and return. The point isn’t to go back to the same plow; to do things in the same old ways and expect different results.
The point is to find the courage and perseverance to keep working our field – to walk by faith in the rocky barrenness.
The prophet, Jeremiah tumbled over his plow. For that matter, so did Jesus. Each got up again.
Are you living in a rocky, barren place? God bless you, my brother, my sister. Don’t give up. Please. Don’t turn around. I can’t tell you I know how you feel. I can’t tell you I’ve tasted your sweat or felt the rough weight of your rocks.
All I can tell you is this; there’s glory in getting up. There’s deep honor in faithfulness. There’s celebration in perseverance. And it doesn’t matter if your field ever grows. It only matters how you live in it.