Have you ever felt like this missionary couple?
When Theodore Roosevelt was President of our nation, he – along with a rather large group of associates – had been on a wild game hunting trip to Africa and was now on a ship returning to the United States. Also on board that ship was an elderly missionary couple. They had served in a remote section of Africa, and conditions had been extremely primitive and difficult. They had dealt with disease and danger on a regular basis, but that was where the Lord had called them to serve, and they had been faithful. But now they had retired and were returning to their home land.
Due to their limited financial resources, they were only able to afford a small, humbly furnished cabin on the ship. They noticed that the President and his entourage lived in luxury throughout the cruise. Then, when the ship docked, the President and his comrades received a rousing welcome, including a brass band, a host of dignitaries, and a cheering crowd.
After the President and his party had left and the crowd had dispersed, the ederly missionary and his wife came down the gangplank. There was no one to meet them. They found a cheap little hotel room to spend the night before beginning their journey the next morning to the place where they would live in retirement.
The old missionary said to his wife, “We’ve tried to be faithful, and it just does not seem right that our homecoming should be like this.”
His wife replied, “I’m going for a walk, and while I’m gone, I hope you will spend some time with God. Just tell Him about your heavy-heartedness. Ask Him to lift that burden of discouragement.”
When she returned, the old radiance was back on her husband’s face, and she knew that he had received the victory. She asked, “Did you talk with the Lord while I was gone?”
He replied, “Yes. I just poured my heart out and told Him that it did not seem fair that we should do our best to serve Him all of these years only to have this kind of a disappointing homecoming. And then it was almost as if the Lord spoke to me audibly and said, ‘Child of mine, you are not home yet!’” (Copied)
Life can certainly at times seem unfair. We faithfully serve the Lord, and wonder why bad things happen. We declare God’s majesty and supremacy, yet see evil and sin all around us. We proclaim the lovingkindness and compassion of Jesus, but read about tragedy after tragedy.
Some people, when confronted by these contrasts, come to the conclusion that God is either not loving or He is not powerful. They are persuaded that, if He is as loving and powerful as the Bible declares Him to be, then all the bad things in the world should not be happening.
This was the lament of Asaph in Psalm 73. The wicked are prospering, the righteous are suffering, and why are You allowing it to happen? In 2023 you might be asking the same question. Why does life have to be so hard? What am I missing? Is this how the story ends?
Thankfully, the psalmist discovered a profound truth and gives us the rest of the story: “I may not always see it, but the Lord is in control. He reigns Supreme!” Don’t just judge by what you see with your natural eyes. Look to God with eyes of faith, and see how He writes the rest of the story.
This Sunday, August 13, we will continue our teaching series, “Summer in the Psalms”, with the heart-breaking lament of Asaph in Psalm 73, “What’s the Point?” The psalmist is burdened to see the prosperity of the wicked and the sufferings of the righteous. What’s does he discover? Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday at 10:35am to both locations.
Aloha ke Akua!