Today I want to tell you a true story about a missionary couple. This incredible couple served for many decades in some of the most obscure parts of Africa. They knew that they knew, God, had called them to these remote regions. They worked fearlessly and faithfully to see the people of those lands come to know the Lord. To be able to answer the call to minister in this harsh area of the world they had to leave everything behind, and it came at great personal sacrifice. They left family; friends and lived in what most would consider sub-poverty level conditions. They worked tirelessly and, to God be all the glory, saw amazing results! Then the time came to come back to the States for good. They were sad to leave their ministerial post, but excited to possibly reconnect with those they had left behind. As they boarded the ship that would carry them “home”, they remarked to each other: “I can’t believe we are going home.” They had notified a number of individuals the date and time they would be arriving and could hardly wait for what they expected to be a wonderful “welcome home”. When the ship docked, there were hundreds of people on the dock. Could it be that a party had been organized for them? They scanned the crowd to see if they could recognize anyone. They then began to see signs of welcome home for a popular entertainer. But, surely, someone would be there to greet them… They waited. They waited until the crowd had dispersed, hoping someone would be there to greet them. No one came. They eventually hailed a cab that took them to their one room apartment that would be their new home. The man and wife sat quietly on the cab ride to their new “home”. When they got to the apartment they dropped their things and readied for bed. The elderly minister quietly, through tear stained eyes, said “After all these years of service, no one was there to greet us as we came home.” His wife touched his arm and said, “Dear, that’s because we aren’t home yet!” Her meaning, our real reception, our real rewards for what is done here on earth is received when we see our Lord and Savior face to face.
So why did I tell you that story? To bring us down? To have you shake your head at the ones who should have welcomed these tired warriors home? NO! No, not at all! I want to remind us of a couple of amazing truths:
- Be encouraged! Do not become weary in well doing! God sees ALL you do for Him! Never become discouraged if others do not see ALL you are doing. Truly, our reward is in heaven; and what greater reward than to hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Know that you know, your Lord sees your efforts; counts your tears; and honors your faithfulness and obedience!
- On the other hand, never forget those who have helped you on the way up! Don’t assume they know you are grateful. Let us be those who go out of our way to show our gratefulness to those who have fed into our lives. (When I think of the men and women who have helped me – WOW! I have a huge list to thank.)
There is a song that was popular a number of years ago. The chorus says, “It’s never for nothin, Light you candle in the darkness…” Hear me! Anything we do for our Lord is “never for nothin”! We can trust His plan. We can know that all he asks of us is to obey. The results are up to Him! #youareneverforgotten #forevergrateful