Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:6-10
Many years ago a missionary was returning home after having served several seasons overseas.
As he rode on the train across the United States, he met a man who asked, "Was anybody there to welcome you when you got off the ship?"
The missionary acknowledged there hadn't been.
The man laughed and said to God's servant, "How sad. I'm sorry your life has been wasted."
After a moment's hesitation, the missionary softly replied, "So it would seem, but I'm not home yet."
Hearing the remark, the unbeliever thought the missionary was implying that at his last stop -- a small town in the Midwest -- he would be met by bands, preachers making speeches, and great crowds of Sunday school children.
It was not to be so.
When they arrived at the minister's home station, there was not a soul on the platform to greet the missionary. Looking at the missionary standing there all alone, the unbeliever smirked as the train pulled away from the station. In truth, even the missionary felt a bit let down.
After all, he thought to himself, I have done what God asked me to do. I did it to the best of my ability. Would it have hurt somebody, anybody, to remember me and come out in welcome?
Then, as those lonely feelings, those thoughts of being unappreciated descended upon him, the Lord spoke to his heart and reminded him, "But you're not home yet."
Now it is impossible for me to guess the pains, the problems, the loneliness, the let-downs you have experienced. I cannot imagine the inequities and injustice you have carried in your heart or have seen in your life. All I can say is this: the Lord doesn't forget those whom His Son has redeemed. In this sinful world life can be unfair and painful. Darkness can descend on us as we feel unappreciated and our lives unapplauded.
If you feel that way, remember two things:
1. You have a Savior who understands. His life, which was spent winning us forgiveness and salvation, was marked by rejection and injustice. Even so, He went to the cross to win our salvation.
2. If that is what you feel, remember, you aren't home yet.
The day is coming when the Lord will take you from here to where He is. On that day, because of Jesus, all will be made right. Until then, remember God ... because He remembers you.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me remember this world is a temporary place. Let me look past the sadness and sorrow of this life and allow me to remember that, because of Jesus, there will come a time when all will be made right. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries