"But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:62 (NLT)
I enjoyed an afternoon visit with Pastor Larkin Yandell (now 90 years old) and his wife Winnie today. They even let me take some photos while we were together. Pastor Yandell has been a great example to me as a small church pastor. He along with several other pastors in our local area were guiding lights for me when I began preaching at the tender age of fifteen. One of the things that has impressed me most with Pastor Yandell and these men is their tenacity and faithfulness. They put their hands to the plow and never looked back. There have been times when my heart was broken and spirit crushed and all I knew to do was trust God and keep on going, following in these men's steps.
Today, when I took this photograph of Larkin and Winnie's hands, I thought about how many lives those hands have touched throughout the years, how many doors they have knocked on to share the gospel, how many people they have pointed in the right direction, how many church building projects those hands have slung hammers on, and how many piano keys those hands have pressed throughout their time in ministry. And then I thought about the strength and encouragement those hands have found when reached out to one another when it seemed like they couldn't go on.
Pastors, the next time you feel lonely and discouraged reach out for the hand of your wife and know that God has provided you with one of the greatest sources of encouragement you will ever know. Then reach up and take hold of God's hand and carry on.
"For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” ~ Isaiah 41:13 (ESV)