Romans 10:14, NIV: How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Soldiers serve; athletes train; and farmers work the fields. Such things require due diligence and ample preparation. This is not unlike our training to serve as Christians, as Paul’s analogy reminds (2 Tim. 2). We have before us a vast field. The field is filled with souls thirsty for the Spirit and hungry for God’s Word. But pity should grip our hearts and tears fill our eyes for these souls because they do not know for what they thirst and hunger. “How can they believe,” Paul writes, “in the one whom they have not heard?” It seems easy to forget. Life distracts with its various urgencies. And perhaps it hasn’t yet clicked within our minds that our preparations are tightly connected to our readiness to serve. But should our preparations slip; and therewith dim our testimonial lights from lack of prayer and diligent study of the Word; we may within a moment of need have nothing to offer—no spiritual thing to feed their hunger and quench their thirst. How very sad so many things seem more vitally important to us than a prayer; due diligence in the Word; and a great determination to be prepared to serve. May God open our eyes to the harvest, and grant us wisdom to work the fields.