Thinking....being down gives one time to think...sometimes even reading makes me sick, but I can always pray and think.
I was thinking about the dedication for the founder's memorial we went to last week. There were several important leaders present, most of whom gave speeches. Overall, they all said the same thing and I've given much thought to what they said.
Our town didn't begin until 1955. The baja peninsula was a dry wasteland...a desert. As I understand, neither Mexico nor the USA wanted it for a while. Finally, the Mexican gov't dug one well that can still be seen in our town today. They told the people in the mainland that if they would just come out here and settle/work/develop the land, they would be given their own piece of property for free.
So in 1955, a handful of pioneers came here to begin a new life. What a difficult life it was! There was literally nothing here...just 1 well, lots of cactus, and the hot, dry, desert ground (and I imagine a large variety of snakes, scorpions, and spiders). For months, these pioneers slept under the cactus, ate the cactus, and drank from that well while they struggled day to day to establish a town and develop the land. They were miles away from their family and friends and had very lonely days.
Many of them did not stay...it was just too hard, so they went back home. Nobody blamed them...some wondered why they'd even gone in the first place. Our neighbor's father told us one day that his wife wanted so badly to return home. But he told her that he'd rather be poor, work hard, and have his own land than to work for somebody else and never have anything. So they stayed. Today, he owns 5 large, prosperous, well established ranches.
What made these pioneers stay when they didn't have to? Why did they endure and struggle for so long? It was hope. They didn't look at "today" but "tomorrow". They were building one small block at a time; they were taking steps each day toward a goal. They did not lose sight of that goal. And last week, we took time to remember those who came, stayed and established the town we have today.
I have had 4 children now born in his country...3 right here. The Lord who saw this small town start over 50 years ago, also knew that a boy would be born a few years later, would grow up, and then be called to come here and preach...preach the gospel of Jesus Christ so that the people here can live this life with hope.
It is so very hard here sometimes; we have struggled, we have been lonely, we have thought it is too much to bear, and we have had times of wanting to just go home. But we know the Lord brought us here and each day we see the faces of so many who have no hope as we do. And we press on. We look forward to the day the Lord brings a great harvest here! And in the meantime, we rejoice with joy unspeakable when we see a soul come to know the Savior! It makes it more than worth it.
Somedays (especially as of late) I'm so tired. I wake up and don't want to cook or clean or wash. There are so many little ones to teach, discipline, train, love, hug, talk to, listen to, and play with. And sometimes days are long and hard and I wonder~ Am I doing it right? Is it worth it all? Satan is so quick to cast doubt.
And then, the sweet Savior tells me to not look at the hardships of the day, but the hope of tomorrow. Not just the blessed hope of eternity in His presence, but the hope of promises in His precious Word in this life.
"Be not weary in well doing for ye shall reap if ye faint not"
"...your labor is not in vain in the Lord"
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it"
I look forward to the day that my children are all serving our Lord. I pray His grace in their lives that they would all come to know, love and serve Him with their all.
And the days come when the Lord lets me see the little things that show promise. The love between a brother and another...the prayers of the children as they are so sad for another who hurts or doesn't know Jesus...how proud I am when they surprise Mommy and "clean the whole house so she can nap a little". Little Abigail read an entire book to Nehemiah the other day because he wasn't feeling well...she just lay by him in his bed rubbing his back and reading for over an hour. And I thought of all the phonics lessons and time we spent sounding out words and I was just so happy.
Then I feel badly for ever being discouraged or doubting. The Lord is so loving and quick to forgive!
I write this as a reminder to myself of what the Lord taught me this week. And I pray it may be an encouragement to another as well who may be struggling on their way. May we always keep our eyes fixed on the Savior and the blessed hope.