Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keeping and Preserving.

With missions on my mind (hey, I might not be in PA, but I am on a mission field:D), I began my Bible reading in 2 Corinthians 11 last evening and stumbled upon a list. It was written by a great missionary ~ the apostle Paul. In a way, this list sums up Paul's life and all that happened to him for the cause of Christ.
  • In labours more abundant
  • In stripes above measure
  • In prisons more frequent
  • In deaths often
  • "Forty stripes save one" five times
  • Beaten with rods three times
  • Stoned once
  • Shipwrecked three times
  • In the deep a night and a day
  • In perils of waters often
  • In perils of robbers often
  • In perils by his own countrymen often
  • In perils by the heathen often
  • In perils in the city, wilderness, and sea often
  • In perils among false brethren often
  • In weariness and painfulness often
  • In watchings often
  • In hunger and thirst often
  • In fastings often
  • In cold and nakedness
  • And then, in addition to all that, the care of all the churches daily
Doesn't exactly make a person want to say "sign me up for missionary work!" does it? But then I flipped over to Proverbs 2 and read verse 8:

"He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints."

How fitting. After reading that list, it's enough to make a person want to run and hide from the world. But the promise of God's Word is still there. The "-eth" speaks of continual action on the Lord's part. He promises to continually keep the paths of judgment and preserve the way of His saints! That excited me beyond measure. In my own strength, I would have to call it quits right now. There's no way you're going to talk me into staying on the mission field if I'm going to face even a tenth of what Paul went through.

But.

God promises to preserve my way. That's all I need to know. If God allowed shipwreck, stoning, beating, and a whole host of other things to happen to Paul and He preserved Paul's way, then I can count on the same promise of God to see me through.

Just don't tell me if these things are ahead of me, Lord!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Paul really did go through a lot... and how many times do I want to complain when the littlest thing doesn't go my way.

I really don't have a clue sometimes. :)

(btw, i love and miss you)