The Rest of Your Lives

Rose Scott and her husband joined OMF in 2006. They worked initially as pioneer church planters, before moving with their two daughters to Hong Kong to take up a leadership role. In Hong Kong, Rose fell in love with efficient public transport, dramatic scenery, and egg tarts. After Home Assignment, Rose and her family will continue to serve as leaders with OMF, based in their sending country.

Mission Round Table Vol. 18:1 (Jan-Jun 2023): 39-43
To download a PDF of this edition, visit this post on Mission Round Table 18:1.

I am in a privileged position. I realise that, since I was born at the early end of the millennial generation, some people would say that my whole life has been privilege.[2] But laying aside my fondness for strong coffee and finely crafted chocolates, these early days of 2023 really are special days for me. After sixteen years serving with OMF in East Asia, ten house moves, and three different leadership roles, my husband and I have found space in our Home Assignment schedule for three months of sabbatical. At last, a time to rest!

Those of you who are part of OMF (in whatever capacity) will know already that life in this organisation is always a life of surprises. Whether it’s cross-cultural communication gaffes, political uprisings, or an unexpected request to take on an organisational role that I would rather not, service in this Fellowship means “expect the unexpected.” But still, I didn’t anticipate this surprise:

Rest is hard.

I’m not talking about sleep problems or noisy neighbours, or even about lacking funds for good coffee and pain au chocolate (or dim sum and artisan sushi, if that’s more your thing). I’m talking about deep soul refreshment that drips hope on a heart that has become too accustomed to dryness and pain. King David said it well, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul” (Ps 23:2–3a, NIV). God brings us to a place of outer tranquillity and inner wholeness. That’s the kind of rest I need. And yet, I am really finding it hard to enter into rest.

This article tracks my experience as I have tried to rest and recuperate after several strenuous years in ministry. God has had surprises for me as he has shown me that true rest does not consist only in cessation of activity, but it finds animation only through intimate connection with our Shepherd, expressed in worship and measured by joy. Will you come with me on this journey to explore “the rest of our lives”?

Since my sabbatical started, I’ve tried sleeping a lot. I’ve tried long walks in the hills. I’ve tried slow meals in nice restaurants. All these things are pleasant and bring a lot of comfort. But they don’t get close to the dryness and hunger in my soul. I joined OMF in my mid-twenties. I have been part of this organisation for almost all of my adult life. I have been shaped, trained, invested in, and equipped for faithful service to Jesus in different linguistic and cultural contexts of East Asia. I have learned really well how to work. But when it comes to rest, I am a beginner.

Dr. Krish Kandiah, when reflecting on sabbath in modern life, says this: “God set a ‘six plus one’ rhythm for our life and yet the beat of our culture is so strong that it often captures us and breaks us away from our most precious relationships.”[3] His point is that our surrounding culture impacts the rhythms of our lives, and the rhythms of our lives dictate the quantity and the quality of our rest. As much as we are shaped by our beliefs, we are also, sometimes more strongly, shaped by our community. To understand my own difficulties with rest, I need to understand the rhythm of OMF’s organisational culture. How has my connection with this organisation shaped my attitudes and my practices in relation to work and rest?

OMF’s mission statement until around ten years ago was, “To glorify God by the urgent evangelization of East Asia’s millions.” We are “Passionate to reach the unreached,” as our third organisational value states. Bible verses come to mind that can confirm this focus on hard work and even speed:

He [Jesus] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:28–29, NIV).

With these words bouncing around our minds, it becomes easy to throw ourselves into intense work in our ministries. It is rather harder to prioritise rest. Except, perhaps, as a responsibility: we know that rest is necessary in order to continue with even more work.

Our world is speeding up, and seems ever more focussed on efficiency. A 2021 study showed that overwork kills more people each year than malaria.[4] Having our International Center based in a fast-paced city like Singapore is sure to have an influence on our pace and orientation towards work.[5] But is it possible that intensity and diligence are purely modern characteristics of OMF? Was the pace of ministry in our organisation more balanced before the era of smart phones and Zoom calls?

A quick search through older literature disproves that kind of simple conclusion. Hudson Taylor’s China’s Spiritual Need and Claims, a book he wrote in 1865, acted as a founding document for the China Inland Mission.[6] It set the tone for CIM ministry with its opening quotation from Proverbs 24:11–12 (KJV):

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it?

Taylor follows this quotation with intense exhortations towards action; “The legitimate fruit will undoubtedly be – not vain words of empty sympathy, but – effectual fervent prayer, and strenuous self-denying effort for the salvation of the benighted Chinese.”[7]

I am humbled by Taylor’s passionate obedience to Christ, and by his selfless love for China’s peoples. I am grateful that he founded the CIM, which later became OMF, and I’m grateful for his commitment to preach the gospel, no matter the cost. As Taylor says at the end of China’s Spiritual Need and Claims, “Our work is evangelistic and unsectarian: we desire to win souls for Christ.”[8] I thank God that this is still the case in our organisation.

Is it possible, though, that the imperative zeal that we have inherited from our founder has become at times too heavy a focus on the work God has set before us to do? Do we sometimes hang our joy and satisfaction too heavily on our work, so that we become unwilling to “lie down in green pastures” under the care of our Shepherd? Am I the only one worn out by years of service, but finding myself ill-equipped to experience the “rest for your souls” (Matt 1:29) promised by Jesus?

Hudson Taylor does not give us much of an example in rhythms or skills for rest. The biographer Roger Steer describes Taylor’s response to low CIM funds in 1897:

Taylor prayed and worked, taking on a heavy load of meetings which eventually damaged his health. A severe bout of neuralgia and headaches forced him to accept his doctor’s advice. “Take a complete rest. Leave the running of the mission to others for several months.”[9]

This news, although it dates from 125 years ago, seems strangely familiar. Over the past few years, as I have got to know a wider range of people within OMF, it has become quite normal to me to hear every few months of a colleague, often a leader, having to take a break from work because of burnout or stress.

Another familiar note is struck when I read about Hudson Taylor’s participation in meetings: “Despite his illnesses, Taylor attended all but one of the eight meetings of the China Council held between January 1898 and September 1899.”[10] This was the period during which Taylor almost died from bronchitis. Over just the past few years, I have received emails from leaders during hospital treatment and prayed for meetings held at a bedside because a key leader was suffering badly from muscle strain.

The OMF logic tends to run: if I can do the work, then I should do the work. Or, stated another way, “To work for the Lord is good. Therefore, to work more for the Lord is even better.” At times, I feel guilty for taking time away from ministry, as though time not spent working is time that I have somehow stolen from what is due to God. As I compare the early and current culture of OMF, it seems that “burning out for Jesus”[11] is a part of our organisational DNA. It is a characteristic that has been a part of us since our founding in 1865, and it still typifies us today.

In OMF, we know how to work. We aren’t nearly so talented at rest.[12]

Some big-hearted colleagues may want to challenge me: isn’t the gospel worth sacrificing for? What about the people who still haven’t heard about Jesus? How can we give anything less than 100% to serve the God who gave his only Son for us? The Bible even seems to be on the side of self-sacrificial service, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3, NIV ). Our history tells of blessings for local Christians brought by self-sacrificial service. For example, Pastor Hsi, a respected Christian leader in Shanxi, insisted on serving Hudson Taylor personally during a visit: “What, sir, have you suffered and endured that we might have the gospel! This is my joy and privilege. How could I do less?’”[13]

Other colleagues will have a different type of objection to any call to rest more. Never-ending numbers of emails. Political troubles. Technological issues (am I the only one who finds our personnel systems challenging to navigate?). Emergencies that require immediate action. Or the most draining of all, interpersonal conflict. How can it be practical or realistic to have rest as the answer for the real-life problems of cross-cultural ministry and, in particular, ministry leadership?

In 1891, conflict with the London Council of the CIM caused Hudson Taylor such intense distress that “Jennie felt the strain was too much and that it might kill him.”[14] The strains of ministry that we experience are not new, and they are unlikely to ever get easier. These strains cause intense pain for the sufferer and distress for everyone around them. And if the stress does not manifest in illness, it is very likely to pull any one of us towards moral failure. Christian leaders’ failures appear in the news with such depressing regularity that none of us should imagine ourselves immune to temptation.

It may seem impossible to find a different way forward. In this fast-paced and complex world, how can we do anything different than to work as hard as possible? But the stakes are far too high for us to continue with this same pattern. I don’t say this to add pressure to those of us who are experiencing burnout or stress-related illness. I say these things as a fellow-sufferer, and as someone who dreams of a better way.

For me, it is straightforward to measure my progress and success by emails written, projects completed, meetings attended, and new workers welcomed into the ministry. They give me a personal sense of progress, and tangible answers to put on review forms and ministry reports. It is easy to have “SMART”[15] goals for these things, so I can count up what has gone well. As an organisation, we have a tendency to invest in these measurable things in order to become “fit for purpose”, that is, to be effective. On my dark days when I question the worth of my ministry, or my aptitude for it, I soothe myself with these things that I can count. My work can be measured, and I am doing a lot of it. Our sending churches’ investment in our family has not been in vain. On the confusing days—when yet another house move or change of ministry focus and yet another farewell to a close friend threaten my sense of who I am—I can look at the appointments in my diary and the crossed-off items on my to-do list and find my confidence again.

The roots of my exhaustion and work addiction are finally coming into focus. My work “for the Lord” has become an idol that deadens my desire for my Lord. My attention is centred on the work I am doing. I am losing sight of my Lord whom I claim to be serving.

This is not an OMF-, or even a missions-specific problem. As Pete Scazzero writes of pastoral ministry in The Emotionally Healthy Leader, “I know the experience of doing good things that helped a lot of people while being too busy or caught up in my own whirlwind of leadership worries to be intimately connected to Jesus.”[16]

Image credit: Wilf Noordermeer

I set out to spend my sabbatical time focusing on rest. God has been opening up this topic into something even more beautiful: spiritual intimacy. I suppose I should not be surprised by that. One of Pete Scazzero’s favourite refrains is, “Slow down for loving union.”[17] What my thirsty soul needs is not just a slower pace, but also, and ultimately, intimacy with Jesus. In Psalm 23, it is the Lord who is our Shepherd who guides us to the place of rest and refreshes our souls. Simply ceasing activity for a time will rejuvenate tired muscles, but it will not spring hope in a heart that has been overwhelmed by life in a complex world and the pressures of missions leadership. For deep refreshment of our souls, we need closeness to Jesus.

But is this just the spirit of my generation at work, influencing me towards an easier life with less strain, like all my other pleasure-seeking Millennial friends? A little research shows me that prioritising restful connection with our Lord over work for our Lord is not a recent idea at all.

Watchman Nee teaches us that

Most Christians make the mistake of trying to walk in order to be able to sit. But that is a reversal of the true order… we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us.[18]

Japanese theologian, Kosuke Koyama, explains it this way:

God walks “slowly” because he is love. If he is not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed.[19]

Nee and Koyama teach us what is evident in the teachings of Jesus: the remedy for our work-centrism and associated sicknesses is to reorientate our work and our goals towards our King. As Jesus says,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…and you will find rest for your souls (Matt 1:28–29, NIV).

If I’m honest, I tend to judge myself against an internal idea I have of “a good OMF worker.” I use my imaginary standard to assess my worth and justify myself against the criticism I fear from colleagues, leaders, or supporters. But as Jesus teaches us, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21, NIV). Our treasure must be always and only Jesus, not ministry success or team members’ approval. Watchman Nee explains:

We only advance in the Christian life as we learn first of all to sit down… to rest our whole weight – our load, ourselves, our future, everything – upon the Lord. We let him bear the responsibility and cease to carry it ourselves.[20]

This is the antidote to ministry exhaustion and burnout—to intentionally lay all of our pressures on our Lord, even the unsolvable ones, and allow him to refresh us. Our work will never fully be sorted or even in a good place for us to leave it, even for a short while. We have to die to our dreams of ministry achievement and competence in order to allow Christ to make us alive.

Anyone in missions leadership is likely to read this “antidote” with less than full enthusiasm. I know I would have, just a few months ago. We all know the theory is to lay our burdens at the feet of Christ. The difficulty comes in actually doing it, and in experiencing any kind of relief in the process. Thankfully, Psalm 23 has more help to offer us. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (v4). In the earlier verses of this psalm, David talked about God, his Shepherd who draws close and gives him rest. Here, David talks to God. In bold and beautiful poetry, he declares his trust and assurance in God’s care. He worships.

Rest is a gift of God imparted in a context of intimacy with God. Restoration and intimacy blossom as we make God our treasure, responding to his power and love in worship. Worship is the way that we submit our time and our minds to God’s will. As we declare his glory and goodness, our worries and burdens take on their proper proportion in relation to God’s power. Our fear of failure falls away in the light of God’s never-ending love.

A few years ago, I attended a morning devotional meeting at an OMF office. A well-respected OMF leader was talking about Christian maturity. He posed a simple question: “What is the mark of a mature Christian?” Those of us in the room tried to give worthy answers. We talked about Christlike character. We talked about biblical teaching, biblical values, a life of sacrifice. In essence, we were talking about the ideal of “a good OMF worker.” The leader smiled sagely and said nothing. None of us had found the true answer. Finally, the leader put us out of our misery. The answer was, “Joy”. He went on to show from the Scriptures and his lived experience that only the joy found by resting in God’s presence and goodness will sustain us through the pains of life and the strains of ministry.

I hear that same joy in David’s defiant song of praise in Psalm 23:4: “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” God’s presence, care, and strength are greater than any difficulty or “dark valley” that we can experience. My Shepherd cares for me. He knows my weaknesses and failures. He knows the concerns I carry for my ministry team and for the people groups we serve. He draws close to me in love, not because of anything I have, or will, achieve. Hallelujah, Jesus, you have found me and you have saved me. Praise Jesus with me, because he gives hope even for missions leadership. There is a light yoke and rest for our souls available, even for us, and even in the midst of heavy responsibilities.

So, how can we serve in ministry with this kind of ongoing attitude of joyful rest, rather than trying to justify ourselves through our effort and responsibility? Here are some practical thoughts that I’m planning to implement for myself. None of these are new or even particularly intelligent ideas. They are just simple ways to resist the seduction of work, especially as a leader.[21] Probably you can think of other ideas, or better ideas. I praise God for you!

  1. Give myself an annual (or bi-annual) rhythm audit.

For one week, note down how much time I spend on different types of activity: spiritual growth, worship, rest and recreation, family time, administration, meetings, study/research, etc. Make an appointment to talk through my audit results with a friend I trust. Is the rhythm of my life conducive to resting in Jesus?

Image credit: Wilf Noordermeer

Pete Scazzero phrases this question this way: “In what ways does my current pace of life and leadership enhance or diminish my ability to allow God’s will and presence full scope in my life?”[22] If we do not intentionally slow ourselves down, we will inexorably keep pace with our context, whether that is OMF diligence or secular efficiency.[23]

I have heard it argued several times that some colleagues happen to have a particularly high capacity for work, so we should not ask them to work less than they can. And yet, I think that is exactly what we need to do. A particular colleague or leader may be able to work for ten or more hours every day without feeling strained, but their actions set a rhythm for the colleagues around them. Long work hours give birth to more long work hours and create a centre of gravity—work becomes the focus of our service. We all want to centre our service on Jesus. That will require intentionality and sacrifice in the balance of how all of us use our time. For some of us, that will include choosing to spend less time on work.

  1. Keep Sabbath.[24]

As Krish Kandiah notes, God’s rhythm is “six plus one.” In ministry, we rarely keep to this rule. But our minds, souls, and ministry teams suffer when we fail to take one day in seven for rest.

I will resist the temptation to schedule Sunday as a travel day. If speaking at a church on a Sunday, I will schedule a different day during the week to rest and enjoy God’s presence. If a crisis arises and lasts for more than six days, I will ask someone else to carry my responsibility for a day so that I can rest and reorientate my personal life and our shared ministry around rest, trust, and worship, not work.[25]

I said earlier that time spent not working sometimes feels like time I have stolen from God. Sabbath teaches me that time spent not drawing close to God in rest and worship is in fact time that I have stolen from God. This is not to say that I should lay down my leadership and parenting responsibilities and give my whole life to worship and contemplation. It is to say that the power of my ministry is more accurately measured by the intimacy of my walk with Jesus and my worship of him than by the clarity or quantity of my emails.

  1. In times of crisis, I will intentionally make myself dispensable, both practically and mentally. I will encourage my colleagues to do the same.

Missions leaders tend to be extremely responsible people. But when the outcome of our work depends on our personal strength and success, it is not dependent on Jesus. Making ourselves dispensable is a reorientation towards giving over responsibility for the outcome to Jesus, rather than trying to carry it ourselves.

As an example, last spring I was unwell at the time of a member care team meeting. I could have led the meeting as usual, since it was on Zoom, but I asked another team member to lead it so I could recuperate. I was humbled to discover that they had more insights and fresh ideas for member care in my absence than they ever seemed to have when I was in the meetings. Am I willing to praise God for the ways he chooses to work through my weakness, or even my absence? I am learning how to.

  1. I will assess the success of my work and ministry using a metric of joy, not a metric of efficiency or even effectiveness.

Nehemiah famously proclaims, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10, NIV ). As the leader in Hong Kong taught me, mature Christianity is joyful. That said, in my experience, our OMF culture tends to be serious and introspective more often than it is joyful. When I was at Orientation Course in Singapore, a leader asked people to volunteer for different roles. “Library assistant” was the most hotly contested (in a gracious, self-sacrificial manner, of course). No one volunteered to lead the fun night.[26]

Hudson Taylor may not have been a talented comedian or leader of ice breaker games, but he knew about joyful worship. China’s Spiritual Need and Claims includes several stories of ministry in China that showcase God’s provision in challenging circumstances.[27] Taylor concludes the pamphlet,

Upon past EBENEZERS we built our JEHOVAH-JIREH. “They that know thy name will put their trust in Thee.” The experience of these nineteen years abundantly shews how safe it has been to base our expectations on the promises of the living GOD.[28] Throughout China’s Spiritual Need and Claims and early editions of China’s Millions magazines, Taylor repeatedly attributes ministry success to God’s intervention. He continually proclaims God’s character in these same confident tones of joyful worship.

When I look at OMF documents produced recently, such as Fellowship News or even the OMF website, I see God-honouring documents, carefully written. Fellowship News from January 2023 included biblical exegesis, introduction of a new leader, and a cartoon to encourage us in good work habits. It is calm, measured, and responsible. But Taylor’s confident tones of joyful praise and worship are missing. I’m sure we enjoy personal worship times with our Lord, and gathered worship at church. But perhaps we would do well to return to our roots as an organisation when it comes to communal worship. Can we create more space in our meetings, our documents, and our lives together to declare publicly our Ebenezers of God’s help and our worship of our Living God? I have heard stories of spontaneous worship in OMF gatherings, mostly including the hymn, “How Good is the God We Adore.” But I have never experienced it. Could now be the time to resurrect some intentional and some spontaneous worship habits in our organisational culture?

Lord God, you are the one who loves each of us. You have loved today’s peoples of East Asia since before time began. You are worthy of our praise. You are worthy of our worship. You have promised to be with us. I ask you to guide us into the rhythms of service and rest that will honour you and your ability, not ours. Whether we are Boomers, Millenials, or from any other generation, may we lay aside our desire for success and learn to serve you, our God, through resting, intimate, joyful faith. We want to glorify Jesus rather than our work.

 

[1] I am indebted to Krish Kandiah for this title, which I borrowed from his book, Twenty-Four: Integrating Faith and Real Life.

[2] See, for example, Joel Stein, “Millenials, The Me Me Me Generation,” Time, 20 May 2013, https://time.com/247/millennials-the-me-me-me-generation/ (accessed 16 February 2023). Note: this article is rather scathing (probably unfairly so) about Millennials in the early paragraphs.

[3] Krish Kandiah, Twenty-Four: Integrating Faith and Real Life (Milton Keynes: Authentic Media, 2007), 148.

[4] Christine Ro, “How Overwork Is Literally Killing Us,” BBC, 19 May 2023, https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210518-how-overwork-is-literally-killing-us (accessed 13 February 2023).

[5] A 2019 study rated Singapore as the second most overworked city in the world. Tokyo was the only city in the study where employees work harder. Danielle Isaac, “Here’s Why Singapore Is the World’s Second Most Overworked City,” Singapore Business Review, 2020, https://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/news/heres-why-singapore-worlds-second-most-overworked-city (accessed 13 February 2023).

[6] The publisher’s synopsis for China’s Spiritual Needs and Claims states that the book was “instrumental in generating sympathy for China and volunteers for the mission field,” https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/J-Hudson-Taylor-by-J-Hudson-Taylor/9781611043303 (accessed 14 June 2023).

[7] Hudson Taylor, China’s Spiritual Need and Claims, 7th ed. (London: Morgan & Scott, 1887), 1.

[8] Taylor, China’s Spiritual Need, 87.

[9] Roger Steer, J. Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1990, 2001), 345–46.

[10] Steer, J. Hudson Taylor, 350–51.

[11] See, for example, David Murray, “Should We Seek to Burn Out for Jesus?,” 12 February 2019, https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/should-we-seek-to-burn-out-for-jesus/ (accessed 9 February 2023).

[12] Take the bi-annual Day of Prayer material as a case in point. The 2022 year-end prayer materials included 32 pages of prayer points. These are excellent materials and are very helpful in equipping us to do the work of praying for OMF. But OMF does not publish any corresponding materials to equip us to rest.

[13] Steer, J. Hudson Taylor, 338. In context, Hudson and Jennie Taylor visited Pastor Hsi and his wife at their home in Shanxi in 1894. Pastor Hsi waited on them personally while they ate, and his response to the Taylors’ thanks was to refer to Taylor’s sacrifices to bring the gospel to Shanxi, as quoted.

[14] Steer, J. Hudson Taylor, 327. Jennie was his wife. I can only hope that the wife of our current General Director, while sharing this lady’s name has never yet shared this experience.

[15] See, for example, “Smart Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievable,” Mind Tools, https://www.mindtools.com/a4wo118/smart-goals (accessed 24 February 2023).

[16] Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), 119.

[17] This is the title of the fourth chapter of The Emotionally Healthy Leader.

[18] Watchman Nee (倪柝聲), Sit, Walk, Stand, trans. Angus I. Kinnear (Alresford: CLC, 1957, 2009), 7.

[19] Kosuke Koyama, Three Mile an Hour God (London: SCM, 1979, 2021), chapter 1, section 1.

[20] Nee, Sit, Walk, Stand, 8.

[21] These comments are hopefully also useful for colleagues who are not currently carrying formal leadership roles. After all, we all have a responsibility to influence people towards Christ, whatever our job may be. But organisational leaders carry an extra level of responsibility that can add particular strain.

[22] Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, 120.

[23] As Comer explains, “When we get overbusy, we get overtired, and when we get overtired, we don’t have the energy or discipline to do what we need most for our souls. Repeat. The cycle begins to feed off its own energy. So instead of life with God, we settle for life with a Netflix subscription.” John Mark Comer, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2019), 50.

[24] I won’t attempt to explore the meaning of Sabbath in the Old and New Testaments in this article. Other people are far more equipped than me to do that. See, for example, Walter McConnell, How Majestic is Your Name: An Introduction to Biblical Worship (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2021), 107–114.

[25] The concept of a “Rule of Life” is gaining popularity in some evangelical circles, especially in the United States. This is an ancient Christian practice that comprises a set of habits and priorities that are conducive to a worshipful life. People who are better able to live with structure and discipline than I am can read more in Scazerro, The Emotionally Healthy Leader,135–141 or John Mark Comer’s “Practicing the Way,” https://www.practicingtheway.org.

[26] This pattern has been repeated at many OMF meetings and conferences I have attended.

[27] See, for example, Taylor, China’s Spiritual Need and Claims, 7th ed., 90–99, a description of a journey Hudson Taylor took from Shanghai to Ningpo in 1856.

[28] Taylor, China’s Spiritual Need, 100. Note, the phrase “Jehovah-Jireh” has been shown to be semantically problematic, both because of the word “Jehovah,” and doubt that “Jireh” refers to God’s provision. One article from MRT in 2018 examines the term in depth: Michael Malessa, “Reflections on the Use of ‘Jehovah jireh’ or Why This Expression should be Removed from Our Vocabulary,” Mission Round Table 13, no. 2 (May-August 2018): 22–26, https://omf.org/resource/mrt-may-2018-to-make-the-word-of-god-fully-known/. My point here is not about the correct interpretation of Genesis 22:14, but about habits of rest, dependence, and worship.

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