A few years back, I was given permission by my cardiologist and doctors to travel again. I was ecstatic and could not wait to get back “out there” discipling a group of colleagues with my organization, Abante International, and together, make a difference in the world. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks — I had been out of the loop for a year and a half, and even though I was healthy enough to travel, that did not mean everything could go back to normal. I remembered the daily activities we do with our teams like workouts, hiking, extensive socializing and cultural engagement, plus all the teaching and networking I would need to do. I had not thought so much about how difficult it could be, I just knew I love what I do and missed it terribly.
Because I would be the main discipleship leader of this team, I felt burdened and yet excited. For the most part, the year went well, although I felt extremely tired on most days. Right at the beginning of the journey with this specific team, one of the colleagues asked me, “What is your main personal goal going into this adventure with us?” I did not have to think about it long; “I want to finish strong.” That was my response.
Today, I attended the Handong International Church at the Handong Global University campus. The Campus Pastor was speaking about gospel-centered relationships. It was a good message that focused on how gospel-centered friendships are like family– they suffer together and transcend cultural, social, gender, and racial differences. He also spoke about how these types of relationships encourage the study of scriptures, and how these relationships can be discouraging sometimes, but often they also encourage us in our calling.
In his closing, Pastor Greg shared Colossians 4:17 (NIV), “Tell Archippus: See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” When I read it, tears began to fill my eyes. It took me back to my experiences with Abante and how much of my life I had given to it with absolutely no regrets. I thought about how this COVID pandemic has affected that ministry, and then I remember the day my colleague asked me what my goal was for the journey.
You may be going through a similar situation in your own calling where you feel like there is so much you want to say and do, but you’ve been forced to sit on your hands because of the pandemic. Perhaps church services have been moved online, or you have lost followers, or it could be that your calling is for missions and currently many missionaries are on home assignment in their passport countries. I don’t know what the case is for each and everyone of us, but I do know this, “God’s gifts and His call is irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29). Let that sink in.
I want to encourage all of you who are reading this blogpost (as well as myself) to finish strong. Please don’t throw in the towel! Don’t give up because of the current circumstances. There is a lot of need in this world, and if God has called you to a specific work, remain faithful till the end. Fulfill the ministry or work God has placed in your hands and on your heart. I am certain that despite the hopelessness that sometimes threatens my resolve, I still desire to finish strong. We are not meant to quit this race of life. God will, in due time, bring all things together. But as for you and me, let us fulfill the ministry that we received for the Lord.