How much farther? How many more miles? I’m bored! How much longer, Daddy?
When my children were young and we’d go on a road trip, they would echo those cries. If I listen between the lines of the Old Testament, I can hear Jewish kids of bygone days asking, How much farther to Jerusalem, Dad? Those of us who know Christ as our Savior are en route to heaven, but we have miles to go. Instead of growing weary, we should ask how many more miles we have to live a life for Christ. The joy is in the journey.
In Galatians, Paul listed some rules for the road. He said, we should bear one another’s burdens (verse 2), rejoice in the work God has given us (verse 4), support the ministries God brings into our lives (verse 6), and do good to all, especially to the household of faith (verse 10).
He added in verse 9: “And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Sometimes we feel tired while working for Christ, but we should never grow tired of the work itself. Galatians 6:9 is saying, in effect, “The journey may seem long, but realize how much God is using you, and think of the results that will come if you don’t give up.”
When we get run down physically, it affects us emotionally and spiritually. Paul didn’t always get the rest he needed (see 2 Corinthians 11:27), but he didn’t grow weary in well doing because he clung to God’s promise: We will reap a harvest in due season if we do not give up. Thank God, sometimes we are able to see results from our labors, but the full harvest can only be calculated in eternity. Our words and deeds are like seeds that take time to germinate. When they do, the harvest is multiplied.
In his book, The Day I Burned the Hotel Down, Canadian pastor Don Cantelon tells of growing up as the son of a preacher on the Canadian prairies. His parents labored faithfully, but saw little fruit from their work. As the economy collapsed in the 1930s, Don’s family lost their house and moved into an abandoned barn. Don’s father made a makeshift home for them, but it was bare boards. When it was time for church, chairs were placed in the makeshift living room in the barn, and a small group gathered for a gospel service.
Don grew up to become a well-known pastor in Canada. One night while preaching, he met a convert from his father’s years pastoring in Ceylon. Dr. John Wesley White, an evangelist with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, approached him and said. “I thought you would be interested to know, I accepted Christ as my personal Savior in one of your father’s meetings in Ceylon.”
In his memoirs, Don wrote: “I was not able to tell my father about the boyhood conversion of the famous evangelist. He had passed away a couple of years earlier. When he preached his sermons in the old drafty barn, maybe he thought his words drifted through the cracks and were blown into the air by the ever present prairie winds. Yet he reaped a harvest that can only be fully tabulated in heaven. When by the grace of God we get to heaven and rewards are being handed out, there are going to be a lot of surprises.”
It’s that promise that keeps us alert at the wheel of our lives. As Christians, we can experience heaven on the way to heaven. Don’t be so obsessed with arriving at your destination that you miss the scenery along the way.
As Annie Johnson Flint said:
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information on Turning Point, go to
 Don Cantelon, The Day I Burned the Hotel Down (Abbotsford, Canada: CeeTeC Publishing, 2002), chapter 3.