Missionaries doing Gospel ministry in foreign lands among unreached people groups face unique challenges and temptations. One such challenge is keeping a tender heart over the long years of service in the midst of a rough and ruthless world. Missionaries face a unique spiritual warfare as they daily endure rejection, loneliness and opposition while reaching out to a lost people that is indifferent and hardened (even dead or hostile) to the things of God.
Like those who work in hospice or in morgues view life and death a bit different and face unique challenges to stay tenderhearted and compassionate, so too the missionary serving among truly unreached people groups can struggle to keep tender and vibrant his/her heart.
If the missionary is not cautious to find his/her joy and life in a deep relationship with Christ Himself, and Him only, he/she can soon fall into a dry routine or hardheartedness. With all the spiritual assaults, challenges of life in a fallen world and battles against a sinful flesh that has desires contrary to the Spirit (Gal. 5:17) it is always just around the corner when our heart could become hard and lose it's tenderness and Christlikeness as we serve. Let us all be reminded that it is by grace alone, through faith in Christ alone that we are saved. Whoa to us if we think ourselves above temptation.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. - 1 Cor. 10:12.
In this song below brother Keith expresses this reality in his own life and how this song came to him while he sensed this hardness happening. May our prayer be like his: "Lord, you have to do something about my heart. A lot of time has gone by since I met You and it's starting to harden up and be natural (fleshly only). I want to have a tender skin like a baby again Lord on my heart."
May the Lord continually draw us close to know His warm embrace. May we resist the temptation to be overwhelmed by life's challenges as we follow and serve our Lord and Savior. May we always remember that Christ too knows the pain and challenges of living in this fallen world. With His eyes fixed on the Father He went obediently all the way to the cross in order to satisfy God's wrath toward you and me. We are free. We are saved. By grace we can fight the good fight and keep our hearts tender and compassionate despite what comes against us. May God grant us all tender and big hearts willing to lay down our lives for Jesus, His glory and the salvation of God's elect (2 Tim. 2:10). Amen.
I pray this song encourage your heart as it did mine, as you continually follow your Lord and Savior and live to be a living sacrifice unto Him.