Legend has it that after many years of paying tribute, a Wallachian lord had finally had enough and refused to pay any further levies to the Ottoman Empire. Shortly thereafter, the lord found himself surrounded on all sides by an Ottoman horde, something not wholly unexpected. For the moment the lord, his family, and his men at arms were safe behind the castle walls, and since the Ottomans could not penetrate the walls, they decided to lay siege to the castle.
From the first day of the siege, the lord, his generals, and his eldest son would wake at dawn, dress in the most resplendent armor they possessed, and walk the battlements of the castle until noonday.
One day turned into a week, a week turned into a month, until finally the lord’s son could take it no more and asked his father, ‘why do we do this? They will either wait us out, we will starve, and they will have won, or they will grow tired and move on sparing us. Why do we get up every morning, put on our armor, and march along the walls?’
The lord looked at his son, then met the eyes of every one of the men marching with him that morning and simply said, ‘because we must.’
I know it’s hard! I know it’s getting harder with each passing day. The sense that those who get it get it and those who don’t never will, is palatable. Many men I am honored to call friends and brothers in arms share this selfsame feeling, wondering, and often aloud, why they continue to do what they do when they seem to be oscillating between preaching to the choir, and preaching to those whom they sense will never hear.
The cold hard truth is that we are all human. Every one of us, to the last, no matter how well respected or esteemed, is in the end human. We are all frail creations with needs and heartaches and pains and setbacks.
The only difference is, those of us who are screaming into the void until our lungs give out drew the short straw and we were called to speak.
We do what we do because we must. We do not do it for glory, or fame, or recognition, we do it out of obedience and because we were commanded to.
In our frailty, in our weakness, in our hardships, we press on, we press in, and put on the armor and walk the wall, because we must.
This right here, this banging a few keys on a laptop and hitting ‘send’ is the easy part. The hard part is what none of us talk about because some might see it as boasting, while others might see it as whining.
The hard part is agonizing over the message time and again until you are certain it is what God wants to communicate. The hard part is praying for others who call or write in even when you know you need prayer just as much as they do. The hard part is being looked up to as something more than what we are, and seeing the flash of anger on people’s faces when you try to tell them they are wrong in thinking you are special.
We do the work because we are called to do the work. Not because it’s convenient, not because it’s easy, not because we have nothing else on the books, or we’re in perfect health, or all the bills are paid.
Jesus never qualified His sending forth of His disciples with, ‘if you want, if you can, if you’re up to it, if it’s not too much trouble, or if you can get a book deal out of it.’
Jesus just said go, and they went, and they turned the world upside down.
The person I’m writing this to knows it’s for her, but it’s not just for her. It’s for all of us, whether we are called to ministry in a greater or lesser capacity. We all make up the body, and no member is greater than the other because we are all dependent upon the head of the body which is Christ Jesus.
Pray for those still willing to walk the wall! Pray for those still willing to stand guard! Pray for those still willing to speak the truth, because they are a dying breed, and if they are done away with, then hope is truly lost.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.