New American Standard Bible (NASB)
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Beaten, bushed, drained, exhausted, fatigued, pooped, spent, tuckered out, broken-down, debilitated, weakened… These are a few of my favorite adjectives for “weary”, yet descriptions pale in experiencing the real deal.
I read about an inner city missionary who became weary in her efforts because she thought, in naiveté, all she had to do was show up with good intentions and goals. The violence, poverty, and despair encountered affected her spirit, depleting her physically as well.
Fighting the good fight not only takes guts and good intention, it requires fortitude and a heavy shield of pervasive prayer.
There are those who are successful; those who remain diligent after years of hard work, and are able to stand at the end, joyous and faithful. I witnessed a celebration of one man’s life recently: Dr. Byron Harbolt of Grundy County Tennessee.
It seemed his entire town turned out to honor a man who had given to his community for over 50 years. The County Commissioner gave the doctor and his long time assistant a plaque commemorating their service to one of the poorest counties in the state. Multitudes of talented musicians praised him through instrumentals and song. A narrator explained how when the doctor’s car was stolen, the community pulled together to buy him another, brand new, one.
At 90, Dr. Harbolt gave a testimony to the crowd about his commitment to serve his Lord who has been always faithful. He gave to others, following a divine example. The signature verse he claimed was Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver or gold” (KJV). In an era when our government tells its people the only hope is in more regulations and control, Dr. Harbolt proved them wrong.
If God’s people, who are called by His name, humble themselves, seek His face, and pray—then, He will listen, bless, sustain, and provide. Dr. Harbolt may not have had riches, but he lived with an abundance of chicken, beans, and corn, and retired with a stellar name.
His example of steadfast selflessness and fortitude is an inspiration. Year after year, he plodded along, following the Lord’s will, while he raised his children to be successful and faithful. Five of his grandchildren serenaded a gymnasium full of well-wishers with their strings, following the example of their grandpa, also an accomplished violinist.
How can one man accomplish so much from a platform of an impoverished community?
God’s power! The same power is available to any faithful one. Can we hope to come to the end of our lives, when we reach the Lord’s throne and the great cloud of witnesses, and experience a heavenly celebration? His Word guarantees it. What I observed from this loving community is only a foretaste of what is to come for any one who follows.
Our faithful deeds may go uncelebrated in this life, but the One who sees waits for us, the choir assembled and the table set. Our silver and gold stays, but our good name goes with us, written down in the Book of Life.
See you there?