The extra mile
August 09, 2017 at 6:00 AM
(Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt taken from Dr. Peter Boelens’ book “Where Next, Lord.” Dr. Boelens was the first executive director of the Luke Society and helped to shape the organization into the ministry it is today. Dr. Boelens passed away in June after a yearlong battle with prostate cancer.)
The extra mile
“I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” II Corinthians 11:27-28.
Winning the race requires digging deep for that last burst of energy. When your body wants to quit, your mind makes the impossible possible. The same is true in the spiritual race. Often God’s blessing can be realized only by giving that extra push, even through everything in you protests that you’ve done enough.
This was the lesson to me when Carlos Mendoza chose against his exhaustion, giving a public invitation after the showing of the “Jesus Film” and saw 15 people respond. The area in which we were working had no evangelical church. Yet from those 15 converts, five continued their walk with the Lord and became disciples in a hostile environment. One of those five has now planed three new churches in the area.
If Carlos hadn’t gone that extra mile and given that invitation, what would have happened? Would those 15 have come to faith? Would those churches have started? I don’t know these answers, but I do know how grateful I am for that extra effort.
I think, too, of Dr. Nestor Salavarria. He runs a full-time medical practice, sees patients daily, has an active night-call schedule, oversees all the operations of the Honduran mission, and yet takes time to witness to patients and prepare sermons. He goes the extra mile, gives that extra push. From his ministry, a new church is fairly exploding with growth.
It’s this same spirit of giving that extra push which motivates Luke Society members and supporters to take time from busy practices and work schedules to be part of these medical brigades. It’s no vacation. The work is difficult and living conditions often primitive. But the blessing rained on these volunteers, their families and the Honduran people is incalculable.
The devil loves to point to life’s pressures and busyness to convince us to quit too soon. “A little more effort won’t make any difference,” he taunts us. But in God’s design, the finish line —and victory — may be just one step farther ahead. A final push may provide the breakthrough which opens a floodgate of blessing. Let’s keep at the race until we’ve won.
(Note: The full version of Dr. Boelens’ book, “Where Next, Lord” can be purchased through this link at Amazon.)