“Let me tell you that the reading of Christian biographies often has filled me with discouragement because of the tendency to write as if the discouragements, struggles, frailties and weaknesses didn’t exist during a time of walking along the path, or stepping out on the stepping stone, where the Lord had clearly led. The criterion of being in the Lord’s will, and doing what He has unfolded, so often seemed to be spelled out as “sailing through.” …
…Never forget this…at any point in life, in a thousand different kinds of situations, the answer to prayer, “Use me, Lord, I want to be greatly used of Thee,” can be the hardest thing you have ever faced. It is the answer to prayer that brings exhaustion of a variety of kinds, and that brings a cost to be paid that almost smashes you, and me.
There is always a cost to being “used mightily for the Lord”, and there always was…the reality of having been used is not wiped out by the reluctant cost. We are in a battle, and winning a skirmish brings scars and sometimes deep wounds.
…Paul did not hide his difficulties but rather says, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered…” (2 Cor. 1:8) If he was under pressures far beyond his ability to endure, why are we so loath to mention pressures, whatever sort they may be? We do each other a terrible disservice if we end on a crescendo of glory and never mention the cost God’s servants have always had woven into their piece of the battle…”
-Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry