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for Lillie

 To do those things that honor Christ, Our Lord,
  Relying on His strength, though hard oppressed,
  Enabled by His love, which can afford
  Another sacrifice at His behest,
  She goes ahead and lets her heart be torn.
  Unwilling that the ones she loves be lost –
  Resolved – she once again will meet their scorn.
  Envisioning salvation through great cost,
  Denying self the right to shield her eyes,
 Continually she prays for their relief.
How great their need for Jesus!” her heart cries.
I live to do Your will, though there be grief.”
 Love never fails to see how great their need.
 Determined, she again will sow a Seed.

by Gwennon

At the end of the Bible study, one of the ladies was asking for prayer about a trip she and her husband were about to make to visit relatives who were not only hostile to the very idea of Christianity, they almost hated anyone who would embrace it. Ironically, it was the teachings of Jesus that had persuaded this kindly woman and her husband to visit these difficult people in the first place.

Needless to say, the woman was rather dreading the trip. Not only was it a huge financial burden to make the journey in the first place. But every time she went to see these people, she paid a huge personal price for their disdain and their endless disparaging remarks.

As the group began to pray for her, I started praying for a way that I might encourage her, not expecting my prayer to be answered nearly as quickly as it was. Immediately, the name and acrostic for this poem came to mind, and I grabbed a pen and started scratching them out on the first piece of paper I could find in my purse after all the prayers were formally ended.

A few days later, the poem was finished, and I e-mailed it to my friend, Amy, who generously agreed to dress it up with a beautiful type-setting.

Right before my new friend left for her trip, we were able to meet, and I gave her the poem. She was surprised, but pleased. When she returned, she told me that it had given her comfort over the course of the visit, and that when times were difficult, she read it several times. So, God used my small work to do something good. That felt good.

However, not all our rewards are immediate. This is not always what we want. So, those of you who are so inclined, let us pray for each other.

Praying for you and me to be able to do what God calls us to do, with or without the rewards we want,