Sometimes we let life confuse us. It happens to all of us, preachers included. We turn our TV on or get on the internet and see celebrities gone wild. They are doing things that make me blush to see them yet they do them with pride. Does society condemn them? No they praise them. They pay them huge amounts of money to do things that should make them ashamed. They live in huge houses, the kind so big I could fit my house in their garage.
Even the celebrities who are decent can be confusing. Quarterbacks for NFL teams (as well as the other players) are paid more per game than most of us will make in years. For what? For playing a game!
Then I see good honest Christian people who seem to have nothing. How many of our old preachers and their wives have lived in near poverty. They have given up everything to serve the Lord. No one is throwing money or applause their way. In fact, to our shame, many of those old pastors are put out to pasture when they can no longer deliver.
I cannot pretend to know how they feel but I have a good idea how I might feel. Then I remember a story I heard once.
The story went something like this:
A man and his wife had been overseas. He was a missionary with a burden to do work in Africa and she as his loving wife went with them. After years of hard work under difficult circumstances they had little to show for it. The work had not prospered and neither had they. They were in fact broke when they headed back to the States.
It happened that they arrived home at the same time as a celebrity. There was a huge welcoming committee for the celebrity with bands and everything else. No one was there to greet the missionary and his wife.
The husband was more than a little upset and began to complain that no one had come to welcome them home. Then his wife leaned over and whispered in his ear, “But, honey, we aren’t home yet.”
Next time you see the wicked prospering while you struggle, just remember that you are not home yet either.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.