The fundraising banquet generated miraculous results. We raised twice as much money as we had collected the previous year. I felt excited about saving more lives.
When depression hit a few days later, it threw me for a loop.
Taking up the life-affirming banner can feel like an impossible task. Is it rewarding? Yes. Is it significant to God’s heart? Absolutely. Is it easy? No promises there.
In writing to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul describes the pressures he and the other apostles constantly faced, both internally and externally.
“…we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within.” – 2 Corinthians 7:5
During one week at our center, we did pregnancy tests and ultrasounds for three women with addiction issues, filed two reports with the sheriff concerning minors, celebrated because one abortion-minded woman changed her mind, and mourned because another one had ended her pregnancy.
It wasn’t an unusual week.
Added to the situations we face within our doors is the external pressure from a society that objects to God’s law concerning the unborn. Ours isn’t a popular cause.
Fake clients visit pregnancy help centers with the express purpose of discrediting our whole movement.
We must stick to policies and procedures due to the legal trouble that could come our way.
Some centers have even had to deal with protesters outside their doors at their annual fundraising event!
As of 2020, just in case such obstacles were not already challenging enough, COVID-19 came along and changed our world, forcing us to become even more creative to reach those who need our services and keep our givers engaged.
Trouble within, and trouble without.
We are fragile human vessels. Our emotions go up and down; our capacity to care is stretched to the limit. This isn’t work that can be accomplished in our own strength.
It’s too big.
If we are to accomplish what God has called us to do, we must continually rely on him for the grace to do it.
Tweet This: If we are to accomplish what God has called us to do, we must continually rely on him for the grace to do it.
Even keeping this in mind, at times you may feel overwhelmed. You may want to give up and run from God’s call.
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13-14).
When we reach the end of our rope, God doesn’t roar at us or shake us. He quiets us with a whisper, reminding us of the truth and filling our vulnerable hearts with encouragement again.
Remember the story of the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, where he wins a decisive victory over the prophets of Baal?
This high point is quickly followed by a death threat from Queen Jezebel which sends Elijah running for his life.
While he is in hiding in a cave on Mount Horeb, Elijah encounters God—but not in the way he might have expected.
“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” – I Kings 19:11-12
On the one hand, it’s comforting to know God is all-powerful. He is strong as a rushing wind, well able to shake things up that need to be shaken. He is more consuming than a raging fire.
But He also knows how vulnerable we are.
God demonstrates His power to Elijah, but the point He seems to want to make is that the very power He put on display is a power which is on our side.
Once that point is made, God comes to Elijah speaking in a gentle whisper.
How comforting is that?
Maybe you feel like running away right now. Maybe the obstacles you’ve encountered, external or internal, seem like more than you can bear.
Consider this: it was after Elijah responded to God’s whisper that he received the specific instructions he needed to move forward.
Could it be that you need to quiet yourself, lean in, and listen? Might you need to withdraw for a short respite and focus on hearing the voice of God again?
He won’t force-feed you the next steps before you are ready. He’ll wait until the clamor in and around you has subsided enough for you to tune in.
May you find rest for your soul, may the weight on your shoulders be lightened, and may you take heart once again.
Your mission may seem impossible—but what is impossible for humans is possible with God.