Sundays with Cindy will be short and simple today. Life got crazy this morning and my time is especially short today for writing while the house is quiet enough to think! I love, love, love having my family around, but these beautiful kids are a distraction and
the sometimes-chaotic noise and activity are not conducive to getting much writing done these days!
Besides that, I have a big Powerpoint presentation to finish pulling together today for my church. It is our monthly Spotlight on Missions, in which we focus on one of our missionary families and remind the folks of their ministry and needs in order that they might better pray for them. This month it is the Leonard family in Brazil who will be highlighted.
I have my own missionary family living with us and they are always “spotlighted” around here! I had a special blessing this week
because of that. Laurie was asked to speak at the Ladies Missionary meeting of one of their supporting churches and she invited me to go along. It is a church that is close and dear to our family—the one, in fact, where I grew up and in which my whole family was saved. The people there dearly love Laurie’s family, and they are special to her, as well. That is why when the Lord asked her to truly share her heart with these dear ladies, she felt compelled to do so, knowing it would not be easy.
Most missionaries are glad to share the victories and fruit of their ministries in their reports or prayer letters, but we do not often hear about the heartbreaks and failures and personal struggles they endure except in the most general of terms. They do not want to come across as negative or discouraged not trusting God. But believe me, on the front lines of this spiritual battle we are in, they all face those times of discouragement and even despair. Moses, David, Elijah—if the great men of the Bible, great servants of God cried out in distress to Him when they felt like they could not go on, why should we be surprised that our pastors and missionaries and Christian leaders should feel the slings and arrows of the enemy, as well?
Laurie shared from the depths of her heart the struggles she had suffered this last year, likening it to a time wandering in the desert, and how the Lord carried her through and provided His living water to quench the dryness of her soul. Where there had been distress, He replaced it with delight in Him and in discouragement He made His desires to be her own. Her dry spirit was fed by devouring His Word. The desert began to bloom once more as the Lord cared for her in what seemed like an empty, forsaken place. There was not a dry eye as we listened to this sweet missionary wife pour out her heart and truly share what it is like to be on
the front lines far from home and the spiritual support and fellowship of family, friends, and church family.
My message today is simply this: As we pray for our missionaries and support them in other ways, let us spotlight those spiritual and emotional needs they all have, whether they talk about them or not. Like Moses, David, Elijah and the other great men and women of the Bible, they are only human and suffer loneliness, weakness, exhaustion, depression, discouragement and even despair. They may be people of great faith and leaders that God has chosen for His work, but that puts an even greater target on their backs for Satan knows if he can bring them down, he’ll bring many others down with them.
I leave you with this plea from Paul the great missionary: “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;” (Romans 15:30)