Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)
TITLE: A Better Place To Be
By djvenzke Venzke
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"Don, wake up. You did it again." Beth nudged her husband.
"I'm sorry, really," he said sitting up straighter. "What were you saying?"
"Oh, what's the use? You don't even remember what I said when you were awake."
"I'm really sorry, honey. I'm just so worn out. Come on. Let's try again."
"Ok," Beth said wearily. "It's just that you work so hard that there's none of you left for me at the end of the day. You do realize how annoying that is, don't you?"
Soft snoring was not the answer she wanted.
Beth surrendered again, like she did most evenings recently. After she turned out the light and left Don sleeping in his recliner she moved to the kitchen. As she put away the supper dishes she stewed.
Her pastor husband came home drained almost every day. The demands of the growing congregation on his time and energy were more than he should reasonably be expected to give. But, with limited funds available for an assistant he had to do everything.
When Don and Beth's last daughter moved from home they wanted to do something meaningful. This struggling body of believers had been without a pastor for almost a year and gladly invited the Venzor's offer to lead them.
His years of experience in practical and spiritual matters were well regarded, drawing increasing attendance. Now the workload had grown to where two ministers were needed, but Don dealt with it alone.
Beth hoped this could change soon. She resented her husband's inability to spend quality time with her. More concerning though, was the obvious loss of his zeal for the pastorate. It just didn't seem right, that doing God's work was straining their relationship and souring her husband on ministry.
Later, during her evening Bible reading Beth came across a familiar verse, Galatians 6:9. "Let us not be weary in well doing…" There was a reference to II Thessalonians 3:13. It read, "But ye brethren, Be not weary in well doing."
She protested to God. "Don't you see? Don't you care? How can Don not be weary under the circumstances?"
She heard a though ask back, "What's he doing under the circumstances? If he wasn't under them, he wouldn't be weary."
Like a light illuminating previously unseen details of a room, Beth immediately realized God did care. Another verse came to mind. After a brief search she found it in I Peter 5:7. "Casting all your cares upon him; for he cares for you." She looked at the previous verse. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."
"Under the mighty hand of God" sounded like a better place to be than 'under the circumstances."
The next morning Beth shared her findings with her husband. She admitted that she didn't have any specific advice beyond sensing she was supposed to tell him about the scriptures.
Don thanked her, kissed her, and then headed for the church.
Beth felt led to pray off and on all morning, for the church and for her husband. She was thrilled when Don called and said he was coming over for lunch. She offered to make sandwiches, but he said, "Just dress casually. We're going out."
Lunch dates were rare. Beth could hardly wait.
Don took her to her favorite restaurant. After they ordered he lifted his water glass and proposed a toast, smiling as he waited for her to lift her glass.
"To humbling oneself under the mighty hand of God," he offered. Beth tapped his glass lightly with hers and responded, "Here, here."
Don described his morning. "There was a board meeting. I told the men I felt unqualified to serve as their pastor. I was weary from well doing, and that was unscriptural. To make a long story short, they authorized the search for an assistant pastor, after apologizing for not addressing the need sooner."
Beth beamed. "Oh that is wonderful news!"
"More than you know. I was planning to resign this morning. I had lost all hope. Then you gave me those verses. They gave me hope. Because of them I told God to have his way in spite of the circumstances, and I saw his mighty hand move on the hearts of men."
He reached across the table for her hand and when he held it, he looked into her eyes and said simply, "Thank you."
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