Since returning in July, this year has been a challenge. This has been the start of my 2nd year in Honduras and statistics show that the second year of any career is one of the hardest years, if not the hardest. The fresh winds of first-year excitement have faded away and the endless possibilities of the first taste now seem to have limits. Upon my return to Gracias, I knew this year would be a hard one. I would be challenged more and I would suffer more, but I would also experience more and grow more. It seems like the enemy has gotten some bigger guns. I am being attacked from different angles by his lies. But, in light of all of the struggles that have come and will come, we know who wins in the end!
Last year Shannon, his son Tyler, and I hiked to the peak of Mt. Celaque. It is the highest mountain in Honduras with an elevation of 9,416 feet (2,870 m) at its highest point. I signed up for the hike without thinking much of it, but my anticipation of hiking was much different than the physical toll of actually making it to the top and back. The hike started at 10am Saturday morning and ended at around 1pm the next day. Of the 27 hours of the trip, we spent 17 of it hiking (the rest of the time was meals, breaks and sleeping). On paper, this doesn’t sound too daunting, but man I was hurting. By the end of the journey my strength was gone, my knees flimsy, my back tired and my desire to continue broken (did I mention I was sick also?). As we pressed on through the final stage of our trek, Shannon came beside me and asked me a question I will never forget.
“If this is what you had to do everyday to share the Gospel, would you do it?”
My answer, mainly comprised of the painful groan at the beginning, was “Uggggggghhhhhhhh. If I had to, then yes.”
I commonly think back to that question and how tired I was. I think of how much I ached and how broken I felt. But all in all, if it were to share the Gospel then it would be totally worth it. I would rather hurt and fight and climb any day if that is what is necessary to share in the beauty of Christ’s hope.
After Jesus resurrected and was going to ascend into heaven, I imagine that the disciples were questioning, “What do we do now? We have followed Jesus around for the last few years, what is our purpose now?” As an answer Jesus gave the Great Commission. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Our purpose also is to share the Gospel, and He will be with us the whole way. On the hard days where you wake up and question why you are getting out of bed, remember that God has a purpose in each day and maybe you will be presented with the opportunity to share Hope with someone around you. No matter what our suffering may be: big or small, seen or unseen, we have a hope that is bigger than the mountains before us. We are able to climb them anticipating that we can help others climb their mountains with the same eternal purpose.