As a little girl, I could always tell when my mom had stubbed her toe. We would hear a crash from the other room followed by, “Praise you, Jesus!” Then, “I’m okay.” When I was learning the Ten Commandments, I asked her if that wasn’t using God’s name in vain? “No,” she answered decidedly. “I am choosing to praise God in my suffering. I really mean it.”
My nineteen-year-old son called me from his mission in Peru a couple of weeks ago. He was sick in bed and groaning occasionally with discomfort as he talked cheerfully about his work. I couldn’t reach him through the mail, couldn’t reasonably fly to see him. I wanted to teleport there and cook him soup, bring him to the doctor, hold him and pray over him. I wanted so badly to comfort him.
Here, more than a single soul has been reached for less than every possible suffering! For the low, low price of $48,583.53 and a dozen years of school and work and sacrifice, the KINGDOM OF GOD IS IN PROGRESS. Through just ONE part of the job the Lord gave me—sometimes done poorly, even complaining-ly, often winging it, and very often realizing how the Lord played a long game in preparing me for the position—I contributed to the building of the Kingdom of God. I participated in the Great Commission.
Instead of cleaning out my freezer, I could have been looking over the shredded remains of our home. I could have been facing the loss of everything we own. God protected us from that devastation, and although I rejoiced for a day or so, I immediately fell back into self-pity over a few hours of gross housework? How quickly I forget!