God’s all-time greats were not called to build monuments or corporations. Their work carried hazards and challenges that far surpassed the tension of a boardroom or the peril of walking high steel.
God’s heroic sons and daughters were called out to shape the most difficult material of all: people. Their labors were not always appreciated. Their patience was often exhausted. We humans may be clay in the Potter’s hands … but we are not the Potter, and in our hands people are not easily molded.
Most of God’s heroes lived frustrated lives for their inability to change the hearts of men. Elijah laid down under a broom tree and cried, “O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Moses griped, “The burden is too heavy for me … if you will treat me this way, kill me at once.” Jeremiah also flirted with death and shook in anger: “Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, ‘A son is born to you.’”
If your work is people, you had better know the perils of the way, lest you find yourself walking in the dark valleys of the prophets. Without exception, the prophets escaped their dark valleys, but only as they got their eyes off people and firmly fixed on God.