Is It Worth It?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord." Colossians 3:23
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We women know about serving, don’t we?  We do a lot of thankless, non-glamorous jobs that others grow to depend on.  

Recently, I read about Dorcas, a disciple of Christ, in Acts 9:36-40.  She was deeply loved and inconsolably grieved when she died, and I wondered, “Why?” What did Dorcas do that so profoundly affected others? Was it just making garments and tunics?  I imagine that she, too, might have wondered at times if sewing countless pieces of cloth really made any difference in the world.  Did she ever wish she could do something else, or wonder if she should do something else?   

I don’t know what you think of when you hear the word, “Missionary.”  I’ve had many people tell me, “I couldn’t do what you do.”  

Really?  What do I do? To be honest, a lot of regular, mundane things. 

Like you, I show up and love those God has put in my life and brought across my path.  I do life and serve in many “no big deal” ways. And sometimes I do wonder, “Lord, how does any of this make a difference? Isn’t there something else you’d like me to do?”  

After we joined MAF in 1991, there was such glorious expectation of what serving God in full time ministry meant.  Then after we arrived in Suriname in 1992 and started our “ministry” it didn’t take long to realize that there was a lot of uninteresting, everyday life involved, especially for me as a young wife and mother. 

God has spent many years working on my heart to shift my focus from “what I can do for Him” to “doing all as unto Him,” and then let Him work through me how, when, and where He wished. And when He does, I am always so amazed.  The results are so much better than anything I could have imagined.  And when God works through me, He gets the glory, not me!   

After our kids were grown, we lived in a communist country where our activities were limited and becoming a Christian could be dangerous. I taught English and developed relationships, but ached to be able to do something more significant. And then one day, God graciously allowed me a glimpse into His work behind the scenes.  

High in the northern mountains of that Southeast Asian country was a group of people to whom God began revealing Himself through healing and visions.  Despite persecution, this small group grew.  One man decided to teach his village to read so they could read the Bible. He needed to find elusive Bibles in their language; so, he began to pray.  

Sometime later, a woman from his village had a “chance” meeting in the capital with our friend, a long-time literacy worker.  In their brief encounter, the village woman found out that our friend was a believer and knew that some Bibles existed in their language.  

Sometime later, we unexpectedly found ourselves heading over the boarder to a non-communist country for aviation school supplies.  As we were driving, I suddenly remembered that my friend was already there recovering from a recent cancer treatment.  I knew she didn’t have any transportation or way to bring back supplies and might appreciate some help; so I called her. 

Little did I know that when I called, she had just received a call from the village man saying he was in town to pick up the Bibles--the ones she knew existed, but didn’t say she had! Amazingly, she just “happened” to be near the only repository of Bibles in his language in the region when he called, but she had no idea how to get them over the border to him. As soon as she hung up with him, my call came through. “Hi,” I said, “We’re heading your way. Do you need a ride?”   

What miraculous provision that simple act of offering a friend a ride turned out to be.  Like clockwork, as if it had been carefully planned, we met our friend on the other side of the border, went to where the Bibles were located, filled the truck, took her shopping, dropped her back off at her hotel, and sailed through customs with our truck filled with school supplies, groceries, and what they called “ancient history books.”  

Later, when several villagers made their way out of the mountains to help bring the precious books back to their village, we had the privilege to sit among them and hear of God’s wonders amidst persecution.  What a humbling and amazing experience!  These materials were going to make a difference not only for them, but for surrounding villages that needed to hear God’s Word.

And what did I do? Nothing much; just loved and served my friend.  What a difference that one simple, mundane act of offering a friend a ride made. 

Has it been worth it?  Yes!  In more ways than I will ever know here on earth.

Do not grow weary! There is so much more going on behind the scenes.  It is God you are serving.  And He is the one that does the work. 

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23, 24

What does God want you to hear from Him today about serving Him with whatever He has placed before you?  

by Rebecca Emenaker,
CCEA Missionary to MAF
(Missionary Aviation Fellowship)

Editor's Note: Rebecca and her husband have been serving with MAF since 1991 in Suriname, Russia, Asia, and now in Idaho at MAF US headquarters. Rebecca has served in many roles including wife, mother, librarian, and English teacher.  She delights in pointing others to the hope and life we have in Christ and the wonders found in God’s Word and creation.