The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
I served for almost 9 years in our church’s AWANA ministry. Book 1 of the Truth and Training program included Jeremiah 17:9 as a memory verse. For that reason, it reminds me very much of simpler times. In those times ministry was well defined. Ministry occurred on Wednesdays and Sundays. Occasionally, it happened outside of the church building in the form of street-evangelism and discipleship. Nevertheless, it was defined.
Today there is very little separation between ministry and life. That lack of distinction carries with it many blessings, but it also presents many challenges, especially for a father of 3 small children. Missions is our life. Outside of it, we would not be in Spain. I would not be working towards a bachelors degree (and assuming that the Lord provides the funds, a masters soon thereafter). We would be living comfortably in the US, and I would be happily programming 40 hours each week, making enough money to buy most things without a second thought. But that is not the life that the Lord has called us to. Honestly, sometimes my heart aches for that life, and is quickly reprimanded by the words of Jesus, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 NIV)
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” This verse resonates with me today more deeply than it ever has in the past. Unfortunately, today, more than any other time in the past, I see myself in this verse. I see my heart. I see my shortcomings. I see my brokenness and depravity. Above all else, I see my need for Christ.
The missions world is full of amazing, dedicated, hard-working, hurting, broken, and sometimes incredibly difficult people to work with. Today, Jeremiah 17:9 reminds me that I’m one of them.