{PART TWO in the series LIVING LOVE, picking up where PART ONE  ended with the questions, “So where does one get love? And how does one obtain it, and keep it within, or get resupplied?”}

They troubled me, those prayer prompts…

He went to Africa and I stayed home.


I posted myself at my prayer places and prayed. A lot.

IMG_7961My only contact with the mission team: just one phone call, halfway through those two weeks.

I learned then that God had been putting in my heart the team’s most needed petitions.

So the second week it disturbed me that all my prayer prompts urged me to pray for my husband’s health…

Turned out, he’d been lying dreadfully ill, in his one-room shelter, on borrowed air mattress (his own new one having leaked astoundingly)… while the rest of the crew worked on.


You’d have to know him to get how uncharacteristic this is.

But it was the characteristic that got him so sick in the first place.

You see, there was this important job to do. Heavy work. Fetching shovelfuls of cement and handing up homemade cinder blocks  to local masons (of a sort), building up fledgling Bible college walls.

So, when he realized he’d left his cap and water bottle behind, he didn’t “waste time” going back for them. Later, hot and tired and feeling queasy, he still kept working without break. Didn’t want those nationals to think American men were wimps (or just he was). So he soldiered on till noon.

And then…

Was he sick! The sight of the food they invited him to share churned his stomach. His head felt woozy and his body strangely weak. He. had. to go. lie. down.

Him! Who never lies down on the job!

One other mission member suffered worse. Passed right out and had to be carried off the job.

Yet these two were perhaps the most physically fit on the assignment.

Sometimes (well, maybe most of the time) some of us overestimate our ability to hold up. We just keep pushing on—to detriment of body health and work quality, even quantity, when summed up.

You’ve gotta have water!

Your head oughta have cover in pounding sunlight.

And you need breaks. Especially when work holds unforeseen demands, like, in this case, high altitude unbeknownst to the worker.

Then, last summer, back here at home, even without high altitude, with water right nearby: worse—wracking pain, tortuous nausea, sickness all night. August heat and heavy work and substituting commercial drinks for plain old water…. well, that probably helped form the kidney stone…

Now he carries water more faithfully and refills often.

May I learn from his example! (Especially after not doing so in the last late heat wave! But I’d rather not talk about that…)


To live out love, we need that other “Water”—the John 4:14 kind—and enough time with the Giver to really drink it in…

Multitudes of us push ourselves past our limits in “ministry.” Capable, diligent God-followers. We underestimate our need for Wellspring breaks and frequent refills of the Water of Life, and just keep jumping at every demand.

“But there’s so much to do! And who’ll do it if I don’t? And… And…”

Work and worker suffer—till sometimes worker burns right out.

The challenge is how to get sufficient Wellspring refills.

It is a challenge. But I’ve wakened up to the crying necessity. So… I’m working on it. Not done yet. But God’s been teaching me some things I wish I’d “gotten” decades ago. (More in upcoming posts.)

“Whoever drinks of the water I give…” (John 4:14)

“Come to the waters…, come buy without money…” (Is 55:1)

“If I have not love, I am nothing…” (1 Cor 13:1-3)

“God is love…” (1 Jo 4:8)

“Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)


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9 thoughts on “When the Doing Does You In

  1. It usually is our strengths that become our weaknesses… and the other way around… Lessons from our Father to the ones willing to learn. Great lesson.

  2. We often have a tendency to try to do too much. How we need to learn to stop and rest and drink! Thank you for sharing, friend!

  3. Wonderful post! I can totally relate to being sick in Africa. It wasn’t until my most recent (5th!) trip that I actually stayed healthy.

    1. It’s a really easy place to be sick, isn’t it, Lisa? Wow, five trips! You must have a special repeating draw/call… especially seeing how you kept returning despite illness. But then, a inexplicable love for the place can get hold of one, too, can’t it?
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. These macho men will often need to learn the hard way. Yes, I have one in my house too. As time passes he has learned only to push his body so far. God has made us to need refreshment – water, rest and good food. May we all be reminded to take care of our bodies as well as our spirits. Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

    1. Oh, yes, Hazel. “May we all be reminded to take care of our bodies as well as our spirits.” And our spirits as well as our bodies. Thanks for visiting, and for your link-up.

  5. I sure understand. My husband is more careful about water than I am, AND when we lived in Uganda, water was not an easy thing to have that was w/o any germs or other body-hurting stuff. Dave boiled all the waters and filtered them. In those days buying bottles wasn’t quite as easily as now… and sometimes the bottles were filled with non-cleansed water by “criminals”. Trusting and understanding the Lord, serving Him with reality, is the best we can ever do, so we can stay here serving Him forever as long as He desires us to be here. Glad you praying, and understood. Surely counted.

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