“If he give me credit for being a plodder he will describe me justly. Anything beyond that will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.”
This is a quote by William Carey, the pioneer missionary to India that has encouraged me at times of weary spirit. It continues to lift my heart because it describes without pretense what it means to really follow & serve the Lord. It is to plod.
I think two of the greatest plodders from the Bible are Moses & Noah.
I realize that the Book of Exodus records spectacular stories of 10 plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and God’s miraculous provisions & protection, but the reality is that Moses woke up to familiar scenes of the wilderness every day during the exodus. It should’ve only taken 11 days by walking to enter the Promised Land, but due to the unbelief of the Israelites God made them wander in the desert for 40 years. How can anyone endure through such a long time of being in the desert where not much grows?
The same can be said of Noah. He faced the same work of building the ark day in & day out prior to the flood. By then Noah was already 600 years old. Although I’m sure there were moments of excitement, doing the same work for so many years can get monotonous & can take a toll on anyone’s motivation.
What is so commendable about these two servants is that no matter what the circumstances & obstacles were and no matter how long the duration, they continued to plod trusting in God’s Word.
Much of missionary work is just that plodding. Learning & practicing the language day in & day out, continual investing & building of relationships, sharing of our stories of God’s grace, facing uncertainties & financial challenges, even physical ones. These all require prayer without ceasing & perseverance, oftentimes without visible fruit.
What is tested on a daily basis isn’t our intelligence or competence, but our perseverance. It is also our faith in God’s call for our lives.
But so gracious of the Lord is that even our perseverance & faith are not our own, but come from the Lord. It is His authoritative & loving voice that encourages & empowers us, so that we can trust & persevere.
Plodding in Taiwan has been one of the loneliest experiences of our lives, and yet it is here that we sense God’s presence closest to us. For this reason, we can plod this day & the next…