[I] found a lot of common ground when it comes to how others look at the same issues we tackle here at AFA.
- Randall Murphree
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love …
Has God forgotten you? Do you ever feel that He doesn’t take note of the things you do for the sake of the Kingdom? Do you teach rowdy toddlers in Sunday school, chaperone youth mission trips, sing faithfully in the choir – and there’s rarely a thank-you from anyone? And rarely a sense that God even knows what you’re doing?
It’s confession time already: I fall into that mindset sometimes. But a recent series of personal encounters led me back to a scripture that puts everything in better perspective. God doesn’t forget me. The Word says, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10, NKJV).
Maybe that reminder will encourage you, too. Here’s how God led me back to that promise.
Every summer, I try to attend a few old-fashioned camp meetings – sit on the hard flat board benches, get a bit of the sawdust floor in my shoes, sweat profusely as I flap the funeral home fan in front of my face. Yes, time-honored as it is, the old camp meeting under the tin-roofed tabernacle seems out of place these days. Still, participating in this unseemly ritual helps me feel bound in spirit to my forebears and grounded in my faith.
At this summer’s first camp meeting a few weeks ago in a neighboring state, I got more than I anticipated. At the Sunday night service, the evangelist was a seasoned veteran of the camp meeting trail, having preached the opening service there for many years. In fact, if I recall correctly, he’s been preaching revivals for some 60 years.
And after the service, he was being honored for his 80th birthday with an ice cream celebration. I sat down at his table to introduce myself, and in our short conversation, he learned that I work at AFA.
“How’s that Target boycott going?” he asked. “Didn’t you have someone attend their shareholders’ meeting a few days ago?” I was stunned. Here’s an 80-year-old saint whose life has been immersed in God’s Word and bringing people to Jesus. And he knew about my ministry at AFA.
The next day, I met and shook hands with the morning evangelist, the pastor of a large, mainstream church in a major Southern city. When I told him I work at AFA, his facial response was immediate.
“Oh, let me shake your hand again!” he exclaimed. “Oh, brother, please stay the course. Tell your co-workers, stay the course. We need you in our nation’s troubled times.”
More recently, I was privileged to spend a few days in a Midwestern state with five other writers. We were guests of the area’s tourism agency, which hopes we will all write glowing things about their little corner of the world. (I will. But that’s a subject for another blog.)
Our media visit was coordinated and hosted by groups who function in the mainstream of our culture, not the focused and specific Christian track to which I’m more accustomed. Subsequently, they all write for secular publications. The first fellow writer I met there lives near Washington, D.C. While we waited for others to arrive at the airport, it was only moments before he asked who I write for.
“I edit the AFA Journal,” I told him. “That’s American Family Association.”
“Hmmm,” he answered. “AFA – isn’t that Don Wildmon?”
Uh-oh, I thought. Here it comes. Secular journalist – he’s gonna get on my case for sure! What a pleasant surprise I had. Within minutes, we were agreeing on the challenging conditions of our culture, from Obamacare to entertainment.
Before the day was over, I’d met the writer from the great Northwest. She, too, knew about AFA, and over our four-day tour, I found a lot of common ground when it comes to how others look at the same issues we tackle here at AFA.
Granted, there are countless masses who are quick to attack almost anything AFA is inclined to support or advocate in any way. We’re used to that, and most days we handle it fairly well I think. But we’re always blessed to discover someone else who thinks we’re on the right track. Especially, if it comes when unexpected.
I was eager to share those recent encounters with my AFA co-workers in devotions a few days ago. I wanted them to be as encouraged as I was.
Now, I want to challenge you: Whenever you get to thinking God’s not paying attention to your ministry, your sacrifices, your commitment, just remember – and be encouraged: God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love.