Read: 2 Corinthians 11:24-27
Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea. (v. 25)
Paul went through tremendous adversity answering God’s call. Can you imagine being repeatedly jailed, whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, lost at sea, hungry, thirsty, cold, and naked? Paul suffered greatly to answer God’s call. Even so, Paul experienced peace and even joy while suffering. His letter to the Philippians describes his great joy in sharing the gospel and seeing so many turn their hearts to Jesus Christ.
As our mission team began planning for the home building mission to Mexico, I learned that many team members had experienced hardships on previous trips. While nothing compared to what Paul went through, some had suffered through illness, injury, and lack of sleep. Could I experience joy while nailing shingles on tar-lined roofs in the middle of the hot day? What if I got sick from drinking unclean water or food? What if I was injured? I’ve had back problems in the past. Carrying 60 pounds of shingles up a ladder sounded risky.
Despite my concerns, I turned my worries over to God. I was confident in his call to serve. I asked God for protection and recommitted myself to serving him, regardless of the cost. —Rob Donoho
Prayer: Lord God, you never promised that serving you would be easy. Give us strength and protection as we commit ourselves to serving you no matter what.