Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Keep on Going When the Road Seems Long

Do you ever feel like all your hard work is in vain?

You clean your house, but it’s dirty again the next day. 

You strive to teach your children something, but it seems like they never learn. 

You want to change a bad habit but fall back into the same trap. 

You resolve to be more patient, but once again you find your nerves on edge and your voice rising.

Here in the Mslm World we share our faith and sow seed in hard ground, but few respond. 

A few weeks ago I woke up on a Sunday exhausted and unready for the day. I stared at my bible, unable to understand the passage, even after reading it a few times.  Monday morning I felt the same: too tired to even pray. More than physical tiredness, I felt spiritually weary: tired of caring for my family’s needs, tired of praying and seeing slow results in our ministry.   

“God, I’m tired,” was all I could pray.

God answered me that same day:

We were reading scripture with our kids before bed, and Galatians 3:9 jumped off the page at me.   “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  I felt God’s Spirit stirring my heart and whispering encouragement to me. Three days later at a prayer meeting, one of our co-workers shared the very same verse.  I was sure it was God speaking.

I heard two things:
  • An encouraging command:  “Let us not become weary in doing good.”
  • And a promise: “We will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Do you ever feel discouraged and burdened by what seems like a lot of work for few results? Don’t forget the simple principle of sowing and harvesting: if you don’t give up, you’ll reap a reward. If you keep on going, sooner or later your kids will grow and respond to you. Your relationship with your spouse will change. If you keep on going, sooner or later you’ll achieve the goal that seems far off.

So how do you keep on going when the road seems long?

Keep your eyes on the Lord. “Moses persevered because he saw the one who is invisible.”

Resist the urge to carry the burden yourself. His burden is easy and His load is light.

Give thanks in all things.  It’s the truest path to joy.

Return to the simple truths: You are God’s beloved child. You are forgiven.

Remain in the vine and trust Him for fruit.

Put first things first and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Smile and laugh more.

Have some fun.

If you’re tired, cancel your activities for a week and hide out.

Get enough sleep.  (It’s amazing how sleep can change your perspective!)

Don’t lose hope.

If you are feeling discouraged and weary, may God give you grace to keep on going one day at a time! 

Comments? How do you keep on going?


  1. This is so timely and encouraging for me. It seems like the longer we have been here, the more tired I become, and like you said, it is more than a physical tiredness. Thanks for sharing both your struggles and what you have learned through them so that we can benefit! Love reading your posts!

    1. I know what you mean, Nancy. I've been here 13 years and now CP is a MUCH more challenging ministry than we had before! I now realize that it took us 10 years working in another church, to be ready for this! But sometimes I don't feel so ready... ;-) But I keep smiling!

    2. I have heard that, statistically, missionary stress levels are very high in the first few years. Then that drops off and evens out as they settle in. For those who stay on the field long-term, the stress levels spike again at about 20-ish years. Or maybe it's sooner, and that's what you're hitting these days?

      Olive, thank you for sharing. We all go through times of physical tiredness, and this is such an encouragement!

    3. Interesting statistic, Phyllis. I haven't been in Turkey 20 years yet, but I have been overseas 20 years...

      Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. I agree, a very timely post. Thanks for sharing your heart and giving some "practical advice" on how to press on! We've been in Honduras 2 years now, and I just recently found this blog. The Lord has used it greatly to encourage me lately, because yes, that spiritual weariness has weighed heavily on me the last few months. But our God is gracious and good! One thing that helps lift my spirits is music - worship songs and hymns that refocus my mind on the Lord. I also love listening to sermons in English while I am working in the kitchen or around the house (which is a lot!) - although I don't do this often enough. :)

    1. Thanks Jennifer. Listening to worship music is a great suggestion. It really encourages me too. I WISH I listened to sermons more, but rarely do. It seems like I don't have enough quiet time to listen, but I guess my kids could learn: don't interrupt Mom while she's cooking dinner and listening to a sermon!

  3. Sigh... so. very. true.

    sometimes we do just pick up, take the kids to the pool, download a movie from itunes, hole up in the bedroom withe the AC (electric permitting, of course) and retreat from the world and forget, for a few hours.

    i also play "i spy" and ask the Lord to reveal the things that He is doing - even when it is not directly related to where/what I am doing... it might be something He's working out in the life of a friend back home, encouragement He recently gave to one of my kids... just a no doubt about it glimpse that He's about His business helps me remember to keep about what what He's set me to do.

  4. Thanks for the great reminder. Just what I need to keep going the two days until spring break.

  5. I hope you enjoy your spring break, T.J.! Mine is next week.

    And Richelle, I LOVE the "I spy" prayer/game! I will try that for sure.

  6. Thank you so much for this very timely word! I am a 49 year old church worker that God knocked along side the head this past year and we are on deputation now working on going to work at a HIV AIDS ministry in Nigeria. We are both working full-time, getting our house on the market, and trying to raise support. These words are just like His loving arms around us, saying "Keep on, my child, I have work for you to do that you can't even imagine". Thank you

    1. Bless you, Tina. May the Lord give you the grace you need to "keep on."

  7. So encouraging! My husband & I were just talking about this verse. It is such a good reminder. As easy or tempting it is to give up, (right now I'm tempted to give up because of health problems) in the end we will reap a harvest if we don't give up.