Summary: Self-pity has sabotaged growth in many lives, many have acted so stupidly in the past that they have failed to manifest their potential to do something useful and wonderful with their lives .
Increased all the more in strength!
Acts 9:22 ”Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.”
When Apostle Paul was running from pillar to post and persecuted on all sides, the Bible says he increased all the more in strength and did his job effectively. I like the phrase ‘increased all the more’! Phew! Wonderful! When people play football with our emotions, let us increase all the more in strength, when you’re your husband ignores you, increase all the more in strength. When your hard efforts are smashed don’t panic, increase all the more in strength. Is anybody out there listening to me? You don’t need bullets to pierce you and finish you, a good ounce of ‘self-pity’ is enough to bury you! Are you listening? I tell you, I went through a horrific period of self-pity and severe discouragements during the relocation period of our ministry; we were struggling all alone in a new city, new projects, new culture, new language, new people, new environment, new challenges and most important my children felt terribly isolated in a new city. They were booed and jeered for their language and it was nightmare for all of us! You will never know the pain of being a missionary for God until you step into their shoes! We went through all the above in the midst of severe financial crisis as well!
Conducting even a home prayer cell was tough because we had to find a translator, we had to learn the songs in the new language and much, much more…There have been times, when the translator would ditch us and never turn up for the meeting and there I would stand in front of a crowd who do not understand my language and I would be tongue-tied and dumb! I would cry, “what do I tell these lovely people Lord?”
In the midst of such uncertainties, we held our first three days AIC - fire camp in Hyderabad which is a huge project ; lack of support, concern, love, help and care from the local believers totally shattered me. More than anything I felt exhausted, drained and washed out! I tried to camouflage my inner turmoil by putting on a brave front while I was crumbling on the inside. I asked my daughter one day, ‘why was help not coming for me from God? I just can’t take it any more’, her reply revolutionized my life, she said, ‘God is training you for a bigger platform and equipping you for facing greater challenges with ease and poise!’ Hurray! Best counselling I have ever had! Sure enough, the same time the next year, we conducted the three days AIC fire camp with more ease and poise! My composure and tranquility came from the afflictions that I went through the previous year! Let me share a lovely testimony, since it was a retreat camp, the previous year we faced severe problems in the area of cooking food, serving and cleaning, we were praying for forty days for a good solution. On a particular evening, a soft spoken man came to my school premises and introduced himself as a restaurant manager and said that he would cater for our programs. It was bumper prize for me! I asked for sample food and the very next day we confirmed the order of catering food for all the three days of our camp. No cooking, no serving and no cleaning, the food packets were given to the participants. Hurray!
What I faced then is peanut-sized problems compared to what I am facing now; yet, the angst, panic, anxiety, worry has been replaced with calmness in the Lord! Stop depending on others, stop complaining about lack of help and stop being lethargic; roll up your sleeves for hard work. Be an exemplar of hard work!
Even if none appreciate you, do your work faithfully, even if you are rejected and ignored, stand firm and keep moving. Self-pity has sabotaged growth in many lives, many have acted so stupidly in the past that they have failed to manifest their potential to do something useful and wonderful with their lives . Never too late to start afresh!