The temperature has dropped a bit here in London this morning and it’s nice to be inside.
A few days ago the three of us had a chat with a wise and experienced priest in relation to evangelisation and the church.
He told us a story about when he was in France and spoke to a group experienced in evangelisation.
“Do you see many fruits?” He inquired and the answer he got left a permanent impression.
“Just enough for us to continue”.
In other words NO!
Such is the way with this life of evangelisation. You write blogs, you share stories and testimonies, you pray constantly and what do you really see for it?!
Often you see absolutely nothing and worse still have a group of people laughing and jeering you and accusing you of doing nothing and wasting your time while you could be ‘working’.
It’s true that evangelisation will not make you either cool or popular and at times you may well wonder if it’s all just a big waste of time.
And not just evangelisation, who doesn’t experience similar in their prayer lives and journey with God?
You pray for hours and then you find out that your children are sick, that your husband lost his job, that your car has broken down, that you’ve got cancer……
It would seem at times that the rewards of prayer is actually more adversity!!
And so at times you will feel like giving up, like going back to a ‘normal life’, like taking up yoga or something and forgetting about all this Jesus and the cross stuff.
It’s normal. My uncle once told me how he grabbed the cross and hurdled it across the room! A priest friend of mine told me of the countless breviaries (prayer books) he had ripped up in anger and thrown all over the place.
For others they’ll go on a rage of sin, a binge on drugs, alcohol, sex or whatever….
And yet what separates the sheep from the goats isn’t the absence of discouragement and mistakes but it is what they do afterwards.
The genuine God-seeking soul will return to Jesus like Saint Peter did while the goat will do a Judas so to speak and give up in despair.
So why does God behave in this way? We are his workers and we are out there talking about him and so why doesn’t he repay us with thousands of people falling at our feet and being converted and healed?!
Simple! He desires something greater for us. He desires for our faith and trust in Him to grow and the only way our faith can grow is when it’s tested.
It’s easy to love God when all is going well but how well do we love Him when it’s not and how do our hearts react to suffering?
One person who knows all about this is Toni!! He’s only 23 and one year old in his faith and every now and then he gets sick of it all and flips.
The lack of love and support in the church, tensions in the house, missing his family etc. all get too much at times and he flips.
Yet what makes Toni special is that he comes back, he understands that the spiritual journey is made of many battles and that this is all part of it.
Yet all that said, every now and then we do catch a fish and Jesus offers us the encouragement we need to continue.
A few months ago I was very abused for putting my testimony on a gay magazine and out of the blue that evening I got a super encouraging message from a priest that literally shattered and destroyed all the negativity and left me in a flood of joy!
On other occasions we hear of miraculous healings and get other unexpected forms of encouragement.
And so you too today may be struggling or wondering where God is at the moment. I will leave you with 2 thoughts.
1. Perhaps he is stretching your faith and calling you to trust and
2. Even in your moment of desolation you can encourage someone else. Think of someone who God has used to help you and yet who you’ve never told or thanked. Maybe today your little testimony is exactly what they need to stay encouraged.
So hey, let’s not overdo it but let’s encourage eachother nonetheless ‘just enough to continue’.
Have a wonderful day and keep your eyes on Jesus knowing that He loves you and is with you in spite of everything.