A Brief Encouragement To Donkeys

I became a Christian the summer before my senior year. Shortly thereafter my youth pastor asked me to share a word with the youth group. I prepared a sermonette from Scripture as best I knew how, prayed like my life depended on it, and when the time came I pretty much read verbatim from the scratch paper I had written my notes on. I don’t remember any amazing move of the Spirit or a mass weeping repentance at the altar afterwards. But my youth minister must have seen something I didn’t, and on a consistent weekly basis he asked me to speak or lead a study for the duration of my senior year and college years thereafter.

I really enjoyed the opportunity and felt a certain level of blessed comfort when sharing or proclaiming the truth of God’s word in small and larger contexts. This comfort with public speaking was quite a miracle of God, because in my youth years I was a virtual mute and painfully shy throughout high school. I appeared to be a pretty confident machismo jock type, but within me I had an illogical fear of a wide variety of social situations (I still struggle with that sometimes).

From then on, I continued to share a word in some ministry capacity on a weekly basis for about eight years straight. I can say confidently that no one benefited more from the prayer, bible study time and sharing than I did. God has a way of keeping you accountable in spiritual disciplines when others may glean spiritual food from the dish you’re serving. Those dynamic moments when the Holy Spirit illuminates God’s truth to your spiritual senses can only be described as a burning deep within the bones that must escape lest the body be seared inside out (Jer 20:9).

All glory to God and His grace if one soul was blessed by His Word during those seasons (1Cor 3:7).

Because of different circumstantial factors and choices made by me (and of course the good Providence of God!) my weekly leading came to an abrupt end about one and a half years ago. Other than a couple of speaking opportunities here and there for the past year and a half I have not had any official “public” ministry of the word.

I have missed the fellowship and human contact that came with all those respective bible study groups.

That is where this blog comes in.

This has been my outlet when I feel the itch of the Word and the unction of the Spirit to share. It has also been a place to share some of the more inane, frivolous and humorous aspects of my personal life and thought patterns.

Now I am not saying any virtual blog community should replace the indispensable community of the local assembly. I am definitely not saying a blog that focuses on spiritual matters could ever replace the powerful proclamation of the gospel that happens in the context of church.

I am saying I am thankful for this small writing outlet God has given me for this season.

I am saying I am thankful for you, the reader, subscriber, or silent lurker.

I am saying I am most thankful for a careful Shepherd who can use any medium He pleases to reach His sheep: and sometimes He still chooses to use importunate jackasses (Numbers 22).

Whatever season you’re currently in you should know that God is the good and gracious sovereign King who alone changes the times and seasons (Daniel 2:21). Be thankful for and faithful to whatever small platform He has given you for this short time. Whether it be a church with stagnant membership, a blog with no traffic, or a co-worker who doesn’t want to hear it.

Keep sowing the gospel seed. The greatest and most fruitful trees all have the same small hidden beginnings in the soil of supposed obscurity. We may never know what eternal fruit God is going to raise up out of the dirt of our lives.

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

45 thoughts on “A Brief Encouragement To Donkeys”

  1. I’m not sure how you came across my blog and in turn causing me come to your blog. I very rarely even follow or subscribe to others blog, but for whatever that matter or purpose was that god had installed it brought me to this very blog. To be honest it was very refreshing reading it and I was hoping it would not stop. I keep getting more and more excited to read the next word. So for that I thank you. This reminded me of something’s I really needed to hear. Thank you and please continue on. I will look forward to coming back again!

    1. I look forward to you coming back! Thanks for the encouraging words and your willingness to listen. I write for people just like you, that God would in some bless you through the writing of an uneducated football coach!

  2. Yes, very encouraging. Thanks for the encouragement. There are days when it feels like absolutely nobody cares (been unemployed for a very long time and closing in on 60 soon). Ran out of unemployment benefits last May and have had no income since then. Depleted savings, now into my very small retirement account. Not fun. Oh, did I mention I have a blog with hardly any traffic? Still, it’s my outlet for sowing the gospel seed. Thanks again!

  3. Hi Bryan. Just last night I got a little discouraged that no one had looked at my blog in days. This couldn’t have been posted at a better time! Thanks so much for your reminder to be faithful and thankful for the opportunity I have to share the Gospel – regardless of whether one person sees my blog, or thousands do. God bless!

  4. Excellent encouraging posts. I thank the Lord everyday that I get to teach at a Christian school and share His Word. The modern technology we have has certainly expanded our opportunities with this. I came to the blog community with that idea in my mind using the gifts the Lord has given me. I always tell my students that when you are online to carry yourselves as Chrisitians should. Just because your on a computer does not mean that you can or should hide your faith. Your actions online need to be regulated by the same scriptures that you live by off line. When I blog I am not always overtly religious, but I make sure that I still carry myself as a Christian and have no problem tell others that I am. If the Lord uses this to grow faith in others, or to help fellow Christians be encouraged (as I feel reading your blog today has done for me) then it is in the end in his hands.

  5. I gotta tell ya, Bryan; God in His marvelous timing is so good! I love your story this morning, and those last two paragraphs could have started, “Now,Charlie,”, and been signed, “I love you, God.” In other words, they were such a beautiful and perfect message to me, I literally shed tears.
    I won’t bore you with the details–the whys and what alls–because you know them; you’ve been there. But, I will praise God and thank Him for all He has you doing!
    And, thank you!

  6. This is a wonderful encouragment for all Christians no matter how small or large their sphere of influence may be. We can do Christ’s work wherever we are, even if it’s in a tiny way. If nothing else, people are watching and taking note of our actions and words.

  7. Another good post. The Scripture at the end was particularly beautiful. Sometimes you miss the beauty of Scripture when it is translated out of its original language, but in this case, even the English translation of that passage was elegant and striking.

    And I have to say…the Iddison fellow is kind of a dork.

      1. You can send me diapers when you learn not to make implicit threats like a six-year-old. I’m not sure what dork means where you come from, but around here in US it’s all in good fun. Nobody is going to get offended if you call them a dork…unless they ARE a dork.

        Take a chill pill, dude. You don’t have to be an intense keyboard warrior all the time.

      1. Well before I unsubscribe and leave let me say a few things. Firstly you do show a degree of aloofness as to who you are. In fact you show very little evidence of any real suffering for Christ, oh sorry. I nearly forgot you force yourself to watch a movie from the secular table now and then and then tell everyone how evil it is yet you really have just been enthralled by over an hour of it. Any way I digress, You obviously do not recognize a bit of cheer when you see or if you do you seem to just run the person down and call him childish names and maybe just because you have misunderstood him. I am sorry Josh a DORK is a pratting fool the kind of person who messes around on both sides of the fence with little sincerity or understanding and if that is how you judge a brother in the Lord YOU are in danger and at worst the fires of Hell. For you have judged me with no enquiry. Have any of you faced any genuine PERSICUTION for Christ yet because from your writings I see very, very little evidence of the Lords warning. I have commented rather bluntly on your undertanding Josh as being that of a child because you evidently hang on to the things of this life. Jesus never fussed over music once while on earth. But He knew that music was often used to keep people on earth in their little holier than though huddle and away from any real sacrifice. But if you dont want to take my word for it even after 30 years of knowledge and experience in hip hop, elecronica, ska, reggae, rock, grunge, grime and so on and so forth that is your choice. I have no need to force anyone. If you have benn offended by me then remember Jesus is the rock of offence but those who are offended by Him are not willing to succumb to Him. So to me Josh you look and sound like a child where these realms are concerned as I to was a child and still maybe am in some areas. But as the Word says Let us be therefore, as many be perfect, be thus minded, and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Plilippians 3v15. Cheers.

  8. At a certain point in my life God took me from my position as a youth pastor and put me with one student in a school system 50 miles from my home. He showed me through the experience that He is the God of the call and that He alone has the right to decide the placement. My only decision is to obey or disobey! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. I am thanking God for you & your blog right now! I really need to hear the part about the “small platform” and being thankful & faithful 🙂 God had you be a blessing to me today…thank you!

  10. Great Encouragement thank you! Right now my life is in a “stand still” and im just waiting for God to open a door, that I will gladly walk through. I felt God calling me to take off this semester and a possible transfer to a different college. However through this “quiet” time in my life God has helped me reflect on some things i needed to, learn some things i didn’t know, and refresh a burning desire to share the Gospel. Thank you for sharing with us!

  11. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9

    I think the feeling of needing an outlet is common to many who are engaged in ministry. Jeremiah seemed ready to quit and give up, but something in him (God’s calling on him) would not let him remain silent.

  12. Bryan, I too enjoy the outlet and fellowship in the blogosphere. Thanks for sharing. i enjoy your blog, and running into you on other blogs. I often find myself on your trail! 🙂

    1. Haha, catch me if you can. I’ve made a concentrated effort to connect more the blog community this past month and I have been having fun doing it. Thanks for the kind word bro!

  13. Looks like you’ve had lots of feedback on this post, already, but I had to say thank you anyway! I enjoy your blog every time I stop by to read. Today’s post was positively poetic, though. 🙂 And your scripture references were beautiful. Take care!

  14. I consider the blog world like a fellowship also. They are friends that exist who encourage, comfort, exhort. Parts of the body functioning and blessing. I am so thankful for the friends I have made so far, and look forward to more and more. Blessings to you, blog brother!

  15. Thanks for the encouraging Word. I am in a similar place. A small congregation and few outlets for the Word burning within me. Your post was a great help to me.

  16. You know what they say: “The stone which the builders rejected; the same is become the cornerstone.”

    (Peter, too, was something of a donkey. What better donkey to found His Church on, eh?)

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