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Listen while you read: "The Strife Is O'er"1 (Lyrics)

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

To be honest, sometimes, I feel like the work that I do for the Christian church is too much for me to handle. Quite often, there are too many things to do and not enough time to do them. There are church services to prepare for; there are people who should be visited. I have about three PresbyCan Devotionals on the go, and I seem to have neither the time nor the inspiration to finish them. For many years, I have led a spiritual talk twice a month at the local Long Term Care Centre, but I needed a break from that, so I asked for the summer off. Sometimes, I feel like I want to do more, but I am overwhelmed when more work comes my way.

For instance, last December, I did a memorial service for the husband of a childhood friend who had suddenly died. In some cemeteries in this part of the country, they don't have winter burials, and I was asked if I would also do the interment. When we returned from a three-week stay in the Netherlands, there was an e-mail indicating the date just a couple of weeks later. I agonized over the time delay since his death, and I prayed about the words to speak at that time and the wounds of loss which might be torn open again for his wife, who is not well and lives in a nursing home.

At the time, I was already really anxious about the preparations that I still had to make for the various other things that I had to do, and it was most overwhelming. It was keeping me awake at night, and I was having trouble concentrating on the things that I still had to do, both for my church work and the normal things around the house which take up part of my time.

After the burial of my friend's husband, her son gave me a DaySpring card of thanks, and it cheered me right up. Here is what it says:

    God is using you for His special purpose, to shine His light, to share His love, to shape His people. You are making a difference in ways you don't even realize and you are very much appreciated.

Reading this took my anxiety and worries away, and I will continue to do the Lord's work as long as I am able.

Do you, too, feel at times that your effort to bring the word of the Lord to those who need it is so difficult? Please carry on; you are making a difference!

The card ended with this verse:

2 Corinthians 9:8 – God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we seem to get so discouraged doing Your work, times when we feel so inadequate, times when we struggle to do the things that we feel we should be doing. At such times, through the words of Scripture and fellow believers, enable us to carry on. We thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Keep up the good work, Joel.

    You are making a difference! Was very encouraging for me. Bless you.

    I am sure most of us identify with your devotional.
    God bless.

    Thank you for another inspiring message Joel. It will resonate with many of us!
    May God bless you in everything that you do.

    Thanks, Joel, for your devotion today. I can really relate to what you are saying. Blessings to you as you continue to do God’s work by the power of the Holy Spirit within you.

    Your devotionals are always so inspirational and well written that I look forward to reading them. May you continue to have the energy and support to be able to share your insight.

    Greetings and Blessings.
    Remember – “Van het concert des levens, krygt niemand een program…….”
    Jehovah is still writing yours, in His love.

    Thank you, Joel, for such honest sharing surrounding your anxiety engendered by overwork. May God’s loving Presence invigorate you in body, mind, and soul as you pour yourself out. Thank you for serving our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. You encouraged me. Blessings.

    To Joel Jongkind, I always get something from reading your devotional.
    Know that your message had special meaning for me. I was glad to hear that others had discouraging days too. I almost always find something encouraging in your writing.

    Thank you so much for sharing so much of your life in these devotionals, and for not giving up when you become tired, in not becoming weary in well doing! Your devotionals are a blessing to me and, I am sure, to many others as well. Take them one at a time but do keep on!

    Greetings Joel,
    Many thanks for another great morning devotional. That verse from Corinthians 2 says it well. God’s grace and mercy ever present for us.

    Pastor Joel, I liked your devotional and I like your heart! God bless you my brother.
    It reminded me of Proverbs 25:11
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
    Keep on keeping on my dear brother.
    Many blessings.

    I get to a point sometimes when can no longer discern any direction as to what God is wanting me to be involved in or not. I am learning though that if I’m starting to feel overwhelmed or even underwhelmed I am not on the right track. I either step back or take the bull by the horns and jump in with all I have to give … not necessarily straightforward or easy either way. Thanks Joel!

    Dear Joel,
    Your words were just for me today, and I do thank you for them. I am so happy for you that that card calmed your busy life enough to help you feel better, and those same words helped calm my heart and were just what I needed to hear right now too!
    Praise our awesome God for those people who just come into our lives when we need a word of comfort and encouragement. You were my person today!

    Dear Mr Jongkind,
    I was very happy to find a devotional from you this morning. It had been a while since there had been one of yours and I wondered if you were not well. I have greatly missed hearing your perspectives and insights.
    Please know that your messages are very meaningful and helpful. A friend had cancelled the PresbyCan Devotionals and has returned to them after I forwarded a few of yours to her.
    I hope that you will be continuously inspired and want to continue your devotionals.

    Dear Joel, I feel I can call you by your first name as I always look for and appreciate your devotionals. They strike a chord with me every time and I thank you for your inspiration and our God who inspires your words.
    I am involved in humanitarian projects and sometimes feel inadequate and overwhelmed. And just yesterday, I too, got a thank you note on what a difference our seemingly small contribution made to those in need around the world.
    Thank you for reminding me that acts done with love, are never wasted, and for giving me the inspiration to ‘carry on.’

    So well said, Joel, and so true for many.
    Thank you for reminding us that we are not in this alone, and that God will give us the strength needed to fulfill His purpose.
    Our human frailty doesn’t always get it right, so it’s a blessing to receive encouragement from those around us who can often relate to the struggles we encounter along the road to do what God calls us to do. Realizing that each task, performed with love, can change someone’s life for the better, is sufficient incentive to continue in Christ’s footsteps.

    We make a difference in ways we don’t suspect.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for sharing so openly and often and helping us understand our own feelings. May you have a blessed day.

    Thanks for sharing Joel. I think we all go through these times but they do seem to come more frequently as we get older. The mind is willing but the body is letting us go more and more which makes it harder to keep up without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I find myself constantly praying for balance!

    God bless you for making the difference in many lives!

    Your devotional surely came at the right time. Really appreciate your honesty in it about your discouragement and difficulties, which I and others for sure, share. Helps me remember the reminder that when doing God’s work: “I’m in the efforts business. Not the results business.” I usually don’t see the results of the work God has given me to do but I walk in faith, not by sight, as the hymn says.

    I understand your feelings of being overwhelmed, Joel. I’ve learned that setting boundaries is a good thing.
    God gives us the strength to do the things he wants us to do, but sometimes I think we can get in His way, doing what we think we “should” or “ought”.
    Maybe He wants someone else to step out. Or maybe He wants to show his glory by doing something unexpected. But we jump right in, thinking we “should”!
    If we get burned out we’re no good to him at all.
    God knows our bodies are frail, especially as we get older. I don’t think He’ll mind if we take some time to smell the roses!

    I work for a manufacturer of equipment and I struggle to separate work from what is in my core and what I believe.
    I read the Daily Devotional every morning which gathers me in and recalibrates me!
    Your devotional arrived in my email box at the ideal time first thing in the morning. It lifted me through the day and got my perspective refocused to God, Jesus and family.
    These Devotional’s are the first thing I read daily!
    Thank you!

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