A Father, A Son, and a Donkey
"Five times I [the Apostle Paul] received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers."1
Anyone whose aim and efforts are invested in achieving noble and worthy goals for God will, without doubt, at some point face opposition and criticism—and the greater the hostility of those opposed to God's Word, God's ways and Christianity, the greater will be the opposition and even danger. The fact is you cannot please everyone and those who try to do so end up pleasing no one!
C. T. Studd, (1860-1931) the famed English missionary who served God in China, India, and Africa, once remarked: "Remember the miller's donkey. The miller, son and donkey went to the market. The miller rode the donkey all the way and people exclaimed, 'Cruel man, riding himself and making his son walk.' So he got down and his son rode; then people slanged, 'What a lazy son for riding while poor old father walks.' Then both father and son rode, and people then said, 'Cruelty to animals, poor donkey.' So they got down and carried the donkey on a pole, but folks said, 'Here are two asses carrying another ass.' Then all three walked and people said, 'What fools to have a donkey and not ride it.' So let's go ahead with our work for God and not care what folks say."
Studd also said, "Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a Missionary."
With a sense of God's call in your heart there may be times when you need to do what you need to do even if the whole world votes against you. And that can be really hard to do, so be sure it's God's call and not that of your mother, father, friend, or anyone else—or from your own mixed motives—otherwise when the pressures of opposition hammer home, you'll crumble beneath the load.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know without a shadow of a doubt what Your plan and purpose for my life is—and give me the faith, courage, and determination to pursue and achieve that goal no matter what—knowing that You are always with me and will never forsake me. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 2 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NIV).