After 50 years of service in Africa, a weary missionary couple descended the gangplank of their boat. Their disembarking was delayed by a throng of press and well-wishers welcoming president Theodore Roosevelt back from his most recent safari.
As they made their way through the crowd, the husband expressed to his wife how discouraged he was. After 50 years of service to God, after losing two children to jungle diseases, there was not a single person to welcome them home. His wife suggested that he talk to God about this during his bedtime prayers.
In their cheap little hotel room the exhausted wife fell asleep almost immediately. She awoke in the morning to find her husband smiling and whistling softly as he prepared for the day.
“Boy,” she said, “you have certainly lightened up. Did you tell God about your disappointment?”
“Yes, I did,” he answered. “I told him how sad and angry it made me that after all the years of service and sacrifice we had no one to welcome us home.”
“Well,” his wife asked. “What did God say to you?”
With a smile her husband answered. “God said, ‘You’re not home yet.’”
What an encouraging kick in the backside to stop moaning and live life with gusto.
So what if today brought some inconvenience? Does it matter that I had to drive 20 miles out of my way? Does it even matter that things are a little tough financially? Big deal! Today was really a good day! I’m still on the right side of the sod. Why screw up a good day whining like a three-year -old. I am so blessed!
Wait, there’s more good news.
The really good stuff is waiting for us when we finally get home. Until then let’s lighten up and live like we believe it!
[reminder] How has having an eternal perspective impacted your attitude?[/reminder]
Thanks for the reminder.
Succinctly and powerfully said, Ken. Thanks!
Long story, but a goodie…I recently started dating a guy who became a believer after his divorce. He told me that he tried to reconcile with his exwife and she continued to reject him. He knows that God hates divorce. We really liked each other and were headed into a relationship. Right before our 4th date, his ex told him that she wanted to try to reconcile with him and mend their family. She is not a believer…yet. All this to say that I am of course sad that it won’t work between us, but that his exwife may become a believer! God has the best timing! 🙂
Suddenly that nagging tension I’ve had in my back has loosened up. Thanks for your continuous encouragement, Ken.
Now that made me smile!
Ken, my post tomorrow is entitled, “How to Stop Going Where You’ve Been” (https://wp.me/p36il6-cv). It talks about the futility of living for what has already happened rather than moving toward the future. Our lives have unexpected twists and turns. We lose jobs, get sick, sell homes we love, move to places that we don’t understand, raise our kids to be independent, and then shed tears because they don’t need us. But, I keep reminding myself that life is… not was. The best days are ahead because it allows me the opportunity to know God better. We aren’t home yet. Until we get there, let’s be fully alive!
WOW!!! What an eye opener on this day. Thanks for the reminder.
Love it, Ken! I am learning that that eternal perspective starts on this side of the sod, too…because I have an eternally faithful, loving, sovereign God who cares about every little itty bitty, tinie weinie (just how do you spell that?) and every HUGE (to me, not to Him in terms of size) issue of my life and is actively working in and through it, Because of that I can learn to rejoice and grin and smile as I wonder just what that God, who is already living in the whole of eternity, has up His sleeve. To mix metaphors (who cares, I’m not standing at the front of an english class — pretty sure I mixed a few then too) I can’t wait to see the replay up in heaven as my Father shows me the “movie” (wonder what heavenly popcorn is going to taste like….YUM!) Until then, I have to just keep believing (KNOWING) that my Father does not give stones for bread or serpents for fish (or gravel for popcorn) — I gotta trust that there is more than meets the eye here and it is beyond GOOD.
I shared on fb something someone posted…”When something goes wrong in your life, just yell ‘plot twist’ and move on” With God that’s a pretty exciting thought….plot twists always have purpose!
Bless you for reminding us to live our lives in the truth that we have a Great Big God who’s doing great big things every moment and we can walk in the joy of that even when the circumstance through which they are being done may not seem so joyful.
I suffer from chronic pain, There is a couple of thoughts I have, 1 there is always someone else having a worse day than me, and 2 whatever life sends my way it’s only for this life and will not encroach on the next.
I have the love of an awesome God and the love of an awesome woman. Do I need more?
when oh when are you coming back to AUSTRALIA ? soooooooon we pray xx
Thanks, Ken, for this timely encouragement. My family serves as missionaries and need to be reminded of this truth. By the way, could you please tell me where you found this story? Thanks!
Just wanted to say thank you for the reminder. I count my family as my main earthly blessing and the Holy Spirit as my gift from God to help me finish living here on earth.