Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Transformational Sweat

Since no one shot me down last week, I had planned to continue the mini-series on acceptable sins, thinking I would have the perfect post on either laziness or grumbling and complaining. It turns out, I have been strangely industrious and – miracle of all miracles – haven’t had any complaints yet!

This is Holy Week – slash - spring break for our teens, but instead of hanging out, sleeping in, and being lazy all week, we are helping some coworkers who are hosting a team from the U.S. Unlike the rugged teams we normally send to suffer in a remote mountain location, this group is staying in Puerto Escondido, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

While most people would jump at the opportunity to serve in such a beautiful place, I had to struggle get my heart straight before agreeing to come. Going to the beach, as I’ve mentioned before, is not my favorite thing. It requires a nasty long drive down a winding road up and down from 5000 feet down to sea level. And then being hot and sweaty is something I generally avoid like manual labor.

Considering the prospect of being in a non-air conditioned kitchen preparing dinner for 22 people, I imagined writing about a whole slew of other besetting sins. It turns out, however, that I have found great delight in doing this. The work the rest of the team (including my husband and kids) do each day is much more grueling than my going to market, shopping, disinfecting produce, chopping, cooking, and cleaning up.

Turns out I have the best job around – plus I get to sneak in an afternoon swim (while I pray, of course) before they get back. Plus we will eat in restaurants a couple of the seven nights, making my work even lighter. It’s as though God, knowing what a wimp I am, tests me to see if I am willing, and then He carries my load.

So we’ll gladly skip the post I thought I would have to write, and just praise the Lord that His mercies are new every morning, and that His grace is sufficient for all our needs. You know what? Even sweating isn’t such an awful plight to be dreaded. Joy has been my constant daily companion. I am so thankful I didn’t allow my flesh to talk me out of this opportunity.

Meanwhile our friends in Mali are going through terribly unsettling times following the coup last week, having had to evacuate before the borders closed on Sunday. There are few situations as dreaded or stressful than to be forced out of a country on short notice. My heart goes out to each of you who were affected, and especially your children leaving behind friends, pets, and toys that didn’t make the cut when the bags were quickly packed.

Sweating over a hot stove and being a servant is a privilege. Even if it were a struggle for me, I would not want to trivialize it in light of these serious times for so many of you. I have spent time each day interceding, not just for this work team, but also for each of you in your current struggles.

No one said this life was going to be easy, but I feel for those of you who are sweating these days of uncertainty. May you find comfort and encouragement as we anticipate Resurrection Sunday, as we keep busy at our tasks of reaching the lost before the coming of the Lord.

IRL*It's a privilege to serve up what He offers.


  1. Thank you for a beautiful reminder of the joy of serving. So often, what we feel like doing is not what we really *want* to do! So thankful for God's Word which reveals these not obvious truths.

    And thank you for pointing our hearts to Mali. Father, would you hold each m and mk gently in your hand. Give them awareness of your presence, flood them with peace and even joy in their time of stress and grief. And would you protect and work amazing miracles among the believers who don't have the option to evacuate.

  2. I love that you are finding JOY in your days. God is good. xo

    1. Me, too, and yes He is!

      Today we return home, where the hot season has started in earnest. I am praying the transformation continues during the hot months to come.


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