How much of life is about: “grinding it out?” Do you want to put a percentage on it? I don’t. I’m afraid to!
What is life? James calls it a “vapor,” a “mist.” I’ve seen that yet again this week. My great-uncle went to be with the Lord and I’m working on the funeral message that I’ll deliver tomorrow. Is it possible that he’s gone? Death comes and the finality of it is breathtaking. And that’s what makes life tough…grinding it out. Why? Because we have to keep living. People are counting on us. That’s what I plan to say to the family shortly as we meet at the funeral home. We must keep going. That’s what he would want.
Are you grinding it out? What does that mean to you? To me it means continuing to get up every morning and seek to help people. It means to write sermons, devotions, blogs. It means counseling people when you, yourself could probably use some counseling. It means taking a deep breath and saying, “Lord give me strength!” as you drive to another hospital, counsel another family, write another sermon. It means: grinding it out.
Is that okay? Is it okay to grind it out? Should I say it another way? Should I try to soften the blow of what it means to live in a world that’s filled with sin and sinners? Should I try to call “grinding it out” having “fun?” Should I? What do you think? My answer is: “No,” and here’s why. It’s okay to grind it out. That’s what Jesus did.
Remember when Jesus had heard that his cousin John had been beheaded? What did He do? Matthew 14 tells us.
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. Matthew 14:13a
He needed to be alone. He was worn out! He was grieving! He was tired! So, He went to a desolate place on the coast of the Sea of Galilee near Bethsaida Julias. Jesus was “grinding it out.” How can I say this? Because the Apostle Matthew records the second part of verse 13…
But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13b-14
Can you imagine Jesus in that boat on the Sea of Galilee and He’s by Himself and He sees all of those people running across the northern part of the coastline to meet Him where He’ll come ashore at Bethsaida Julias? What did He do? He got out of the boat and went ashore. Why? Because He had compassion on them. The word means: “to feel it in your bowels.” Just couldn’t let His condition of being tired and grieved and worn out deter Him from doing the work. He had to grind it out. And I’m glad He did. It gives me my example…and you, your example.
Are you tired? Pray to the Lord to give you strength. His mercies are new each morning. Lean on Him. Lean into Him. He’ll sustain you and He’ll provide for you no matter what! Grind it out! He did and so can you!
You are loved!
This week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Is a 4-year Degree For Everybody?”