About a week ago, Monday, I was in Ohio relishing my last hours away from work before having the country roads take me home to the place I belong…Weeesssst Virgina (thanks to John Denver for a song I can joke about when I go home). It was a moment of melancholy as sat in the gazebo of a familiar park with a young lady I hadn’t seen in ages. The clouds slurred behind the distant trees as I looked into her eyes, saying, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“I don’t know how much longer I can give everything I have to these unappreciative kids, knowing that they won’t care, and understanding the negligible likelihood that any effectual change will take place in the time that I spend with them. I just don’t know.”
We sat there in silence. She looked at me, her eyes saying that she wished she had an answer for me–that she wished there was something she could say or do. I breathed deeply and leaned forward. The wind changed directions and I could feel the chill as the hair on my bared arm began to rise. My mind began racing, searching for an answer. How much longer could I give and give, seeing no fruit. My commitment to service was made indefinitely–that is, until such time as God would tell me to leave. Having no directive from God as to how long I should stay, could I, in good conscience, leave?
Again the question came. How long? How long can I give? How long can I expend all my time effort and energy to a cause that offers no fruit? Can I press on in relentless dedication to an uncertain goal entirely unattainable by my efforts alone? Can I continue to give my all in desperate hope that someday one or maybe two of these kids will see the sacrifice I’ve made, appreciate it, and bring about a change in their own lives?
And the lone answer I could reach was, I don’t know. I don’t know. Then I heard the voice of God calling to me, “but that’s what I did.” And every objection I could raise, and every uncertainty that could rise. One answer: “…but that’s what I did.” All I’d been able to think of was all that I do for the kids, but finally God was able to show me all that He’s done for me.
God’s victory enables ours.