We all need a little encouragement along the way as we follow Christ. The quote below is from J. Heinrich Arnold, and he captures the essence of discipleship quite well. May this encourage you in your small corner of the kingdom.
"We know that by ourselves we cannot change the world. But Christ will, and we want to give ourselves voluntarily to him. He demands our whole personality and our whole life. He came to save the world, and we believe that he, not any human leader, will one day govern the earth. For him we live, and for him we are willing to die. That is all that is asked of anyone. Jesus does not expect perfection, but he expects us to serve him wholeheartedly."
If the cold of winter is getting to you, maybe the following quote from G.K. Chesterton will bring a little spring to your day.
As the Grandpa to three little ones, I smiled as I pictured God in this way:
"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."
- G.K. Chesterton
Let's always try to be faithful in prayer, even if things are hard and your circumstances appear bleak. I read this recently from Eugene Peterson: "History is lubricated by tears. Prayer, maybe most prayer, is accompanied by tears. All these tears are gathered up and absorbed in the tears of Jesus (Luke 19:41)."
Gratitude is something that can be elusive sometimes, so we need to simply make it a regular part of our prayer and daily mindset.
I found these words from Henri Nouwen to be encouraging:
"To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment.…Let us not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God."
Ever feel like your life is so mundane and ordinary, wondering, "Does anyone really notice the things I do?"
Colossians 3:17 says "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
May this quote from Mother Teresa encourage you today: "Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Nothing is small for our good God, for he is great and we are small. That is why he lowers himself and cares to do small things, in order to offer us an opportunity to show him our love. Since he does them, they are great things, they are infinite. Nothing he does can be small. Again: practice fidelity even in the least things, not for their own sake, but for the sake of what is great – that is, the will of God."
Pastor Ward Parkinson