Pressing On

July 19, 2016 • Iraq
North Iraq

Those working in the Iraqi heat remind me of my calling from God

L.L. is an intern with Samaritan’s Purse in Northern Iraq.

I think that some people are just born tough.  You know the type: those people who seem like they could just keep going and going. They possess an uncanny ability to resist the odds and make it through any condition. Almost everyone I’ve met in my month here in Iraq has exhibited this kind of hearty resilience.

I was able to drop in on a Samaritan’s Purse hygiene kit distribution recently.  It was in a camp for internally displaced persons about 40 minutes from the city I’m living in.

Northern Iraq

Samaritan’s Purse staff members distribute hygiene kits to needy displaced people.

As we drove into the sector where the distribution was happening, I immediately noticed the smiles on faces of my fellow staff members. They were dutifully passing out the boxes, filling out the paperwork, and occasionally calming the frustrated.

They were doing all of this in heat that made your skin feel like it was boiling. It was simple enough to them, but it struck me that they kept on serving with smiles despite being aware of the heat.

It was enough to stop my train of thought. I wondered, “How can they push past the heat of the day, the stress of the task, and every other reason to lose enthusiasm? How can they just keep going?”

Later that night, as I mulled over these questions, I was reminded of the example of Paul in his epistle to the Philippians.

“… but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13c-14, NKJV).

We are called to press on in every circumstance. We don’t have to have been born tough. But in the heat, in the sweat, in our work, in our fight against the flesh, in our rising, and in our lying down, we must press on. We have a prize awaiting us: union with our Savior who calls us upward.

I pray we all press on toward this worthy call.

The Samaritan’s Purse internship program is an opportunity for college students and recent graduates to use their skills to impact the world in a tangible way. Find out more here.