Some friends of mine returned a few years ago from a short but very eventful and fruitful stint on the mission field. Some serious health issues prevented them from returning to the field. Here in the states they are closer to good medical care and, of course, to dear family members. They continue to be active in church and small groups but it is unlikely they will ever return to the foreign mission field. I was reminded of them recently when I studied the ministries of Haggai and Zechariah, two of the so-called "minor" prophets though I don't believe a prophet's ministry was ever minor or could be. Haggai's ministry only lasted a matter of 3 or 4 months it appears from the dates mentioned in Scripture. Zechariah's ministry on the other hand lasted over a period of several years, and they both ministered after the exile to encourage those who returned from Babylon to rebuild the Temple. Some ministries seem more like shooting stars at least in their more public phases while others are more continual in the public's eye. John the Baptist was another example of a very intense but relatively brief public ministry, and even Jesus didn't go much beyond three years. It occurs to me to that some workers or ministers may take way longer to accomplish the same amount of work or success that others can achieve in a short time. At any rate God knows what lengths of time are appropriate and also admonishes us through the Apostle Paul not to compare ourselves with one another.
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