Summary: We all get tired from time to time, and we need to look to the source of all strength to get the refreshing we need.
Are you ready for a baseball trivia question? Who is Clint Courtney? If you’re unsure, don’t bother requesting the answer from Cooperstown, N.Y. Clint never came close to making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In fact, it’s very doubtful that his picture appeared on any bubble gum cards. This guy wasn’t a legend in his own time -- not even in his own mind. He was only a memory maker for his family, and a few die-hard fans who were inspired by his tremendous fortitude. Clint played catcher for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1950s. During his career he earned the nickname of Scrap Iron, implying that he was hard, weathered, and tough. Old Scrap broke no records -- only bones. He had little power or speed on the base paths. As for grace and style, he made the easiest play look rather difficult. But armed with mitt and mask, Scrap Iron never flinched from any challenge.
Batters often missed the ball and caught his shin. Their foul tips nipped his elbow. Runners fiercely plowed into him, spikes first, as he defended home plate. Though often doubled over in agony, and flattened in a heap of dust, Clint Courtney never quit. Invariably, he’d slowly get up, shake off the dust, punch the pocket of his mitt once, twice, and nod to his pitcher to throw another one. The game would go on and Courtney with it -- scarred, bruised, clutching his arm in pain, but determined to continue. He resembled a POW with tape, splints, braces, and other kinds of paraphernalia that wounded people wear. Some made fun of him -- calling him a masochist. Insane. Others remember him as a true champion.[i]
There are times when we just want to quit, I mean we just do not have the energy to take one more step, breath one more breath, do one more job for the Lord. We realize that the job is too much for us. We need to take time to be encouraged by the Lord.
When we look at the life of Paul we realize that he was a type A personality, the driven to succeeded at all cost kind. While most just evangelized around their local church, Paul was out sailing the known world on three different missionary journeys and he was persecuted. Listen to his own description of what happened to him:
I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?