I think that every once in awhile we should read through Paul's descriptions of his trials in 2 Corinthians 11.
Prison - Many times
Whipped 39 times - 5 times
Beaten with rods - 3 times
Stoned - Once
Shipwrecked - 3 times
Day and night lost at sea - Once
Oh, and faced danger from rivers and robbers, jews and gentiles, deserts, hungry, thirsty, cold, and the daily burden of the churches.
Phew! I am tired just reading it. Today is our 3 Year anniversary in Jamaica and it is good for my soul to remember Brother Paul and his journey. It is in the context of the trials above that we can get some understanding of the perspective of his written words that encourage us today. The call of the gospel goes deep, but after several years, we feel like we are still just dipping our toes in the water. Now granted, there have been times that we have felt like our emotions have been whipped 40 times less one. Shipwrecked sometimes seems like a worthy description of a few of our days. Lost at sea fits at times. But, God has been faithful. Paul's trials bring perspective, maybe too much perspective, as His witness humbles us. May we continue to press towards the mark of the prize of the High Calling.