Twenty months ago, I was on the other side of the world kneeling on a scorching metal roof, hammer in hand, overcome with emotion and asking God lots of questions. I was in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, leading a team that was helping to install a new roof on the HIV/AIDS wing of Sanyati Baptist Hospital. It was late in the week, and the roof was nearing completion. We’d spent that morning inside the hospital, looking into the eyes of those who we’d spent all week laboring on behalf of. We knelt next to rickety hospital beds and prayed with the HIV positive, most of whom had no idea if they’d live to walk out of their hospital rooms. We begged God for healing: both for restoration of bodies, and for a revival in souls. “Jesus, come,” was the cry of our hearts.
But, after a weighty several days, I felt defeated. There was too much to do, too many dying, not enough doctors, too few resources. In a few days, I was going to return to my embarrassingly comfortable life in the US. The difference I was making seemed minuscule compared to the reality of the issues I was facing. “It’s not enough” played over and over in my mind. Then came the reassurance of the Gospel itself: it is not up to me. There is something that is relentlessly true both in the poverty of Africa and in the poverty of my own sinful heart: the grace of Christ has nothing to do with me, yet it is mine to enjoy.
So, in spite of my limited resources, my finite knowledge, my self-seeking tendencies, and all my other excuses … God is working. He is working in Africa, and He is working around the globe. He is restoring communities, healing the sick, growing churches, mending families, bringing hope.
Yes, there is much to be done. He has called the Church to step forward in the name of the broken, sick, and hurting. So, yes, serve your neighbor. Go to the nations. Support missionaries. Speak out for the oppressed. Pray for revival. Marvel at Jesus’ sacrifice. Make redemption the theme of your days and the Gospel message the absolute focus of your life. It is the most important thing you could ever do.
But let us not become overwhelmed by what’s before us. The task is great, but our Savior is greater. Let’s not forget what was already finished on the Cross. Let’s rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ.