Smallness of heart won’t minister, while largeness of heart will.
A large heart for ministry brings painful things, but glorious things.
Cultivate deafness and we will never hear discord, but neither will we hear the glorious strains of a great symphony. Cultivate blindness and we will never see ugliness, but we also will never see the beauty of God’s creation. Or, to put this in terms of our common experience, never play baseball and you will never strike out, but you will also never hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded to win the game! Never climb a mountain and you will never get banged up on the mountain’s side, but you will also never stand on an alpine peak exulting in abundant natural beauty (Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man, p 212).
A large heart for ministry wears a man out, but makes a life worth living.
Our Lord Jesus has the most colossal of all hearts that drove him to exhaustion. In the boat on the Sea of Galilee, he was bone weary from ministry, sleeping in the stern (Mark 5:38). He sat wearily beside the well in Sychar, but still mustered up energy to speak with the talkative Samaritan woman (John 4:6f). He faced the sunrise on His crucifixion day with an exhausted body that hadn’t slept all night. But He ministered all day, till IT WAS FINISHED (John 19:30).
The Christian world is ministered to by tired people. Eastern Europe is being evangelized by tired missionaries who are making the most of the fleeting day of opportunity. Show me a great church and I’ll show you some tired people, both up front and behind the scenes, because greatness depends on a core of people who are willing to put out as the situation demands. Men, we have to understand that we will never do great things for God without the willingness to extend ourselves for the sake of the gospel even when bone-tired (Hughes, p 214).
And remember the joy at the peak, “the more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents . . .” (Luke 15:7), that will make you forget the weariness and pain on the way up.