Footsteps in Faith: Fixing your eyes means not losing heart while finding strength

| May 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (1st Lt.) Ronaldo Pascua
Rear Detachment Chaplain, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

PascuaHaving just returned from deployment last year and now seeing units preparing for deployment, I want to share how I found the strength to endure the difficult time of being separated from my family and working long hours downrange.

The deployed life was very busy and at times it seemed overwhelming. 

I was a newly commissioned chaplain right out of chaplain school and on my first assignment as the camp chaplain for Camp Virginia, Kuwait. I was basically the only chaplain to handle the walk-in counseling, Red Cross messages and various calls for assistance.  

These responsibilities were on top of preparing for weekly Bible studies, worship practices, Sunday sermons and serving as the chaplain for my battalion.  

 There were two thoughts that helped me endure to the end: “It won’t last forever” and “The end result is worth more than what I am going through now.”

Hebrews 12:2-3 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross … Consider him who endured … so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Walking the camp, week after week, and seeing nothing but sand and rocks caused me to miss the grass, palm trees, beaches and my family.  

I had to often remind myself that this won’t last forever, and I would be back home soon enough.  

Isn’t that why many employees on the civilian side who feel stuck in their job, stay in it? They know five o’ clock is coming. It won’t last forever.  

They also know the end result, the paychecks, is worth more than what they are going through to get it.  

So, I fixed my eyes on the One who called me there in the first place.  

Even in the midst of the busyness and moments of loneliness, my calling to deploy and minister to Soldiers was making a difference in their lives and the lives of their families back home.  

The hardships of this mission were making me a better minister and person as well.  

At the end of the deployment, the changed lives and success of the mission would be worth more than what I was going through at that time.

Hebrews 12:2-3 says that Jesus “for the joy set before him endured the cross.” 

Was he joyful about going to the cross? No! He sweated drops of blood because of it and asked the Father to “take this cup from me.”  

So where did Jesus’ joy to endure come from? He knew that the end result was worth more than what he had to go through to get it. The salvation of people was worth more than his suffering of the cross.  

When we consider how Jesus endured his cross, we can find strength to endure ours.

Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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