Sometimes I almost have to pinch myself to believe that I get to do what I do. Today was one of those days. Maybe it’s still part of the high from my recent family beach vacation. Maybe. But I think it’s something deeper than that, because God is revealing Himself to me in some new ways, and that’s an exciting thing indeed.
You see, a couple weeks ago I was taking a late-night walk through the neighborhood, basking in the quiet, just thinking and talking to God. I’ve never really thought of myself as much of a leader, although throughout my ministry God has clearly and consistently expanded my territory and circles of influence. For a few minutes on that stroll I caught a glimpse of me the way God sees me — as a person who has been uniquely gifted in many ways, hand-crafted by the Creator for the purpose of sharing His love with others. Talk about humbling!
Ministry is a very challenging vocation. It truly is a calling that God has placed on my life, and like the Apostle Paul, I pray daily that He will find me worthy of the calling I’ve received.
One of the things I enjoy most about my work is the variety. I don’t have time to get bored. There are always needs that must be tended, and people who require heartfelt care and concern. I fail at many points, to be sure. In today’s harried culture, sometimes things fall through the cracks. Sometimes needs are not communicated or discovered. Sometimes people demonstrate all too clearly that they are, well, imperfect. Just like me.
I relish the opportunity to be an under-shepherd of sorts, supporting my pastor and staff team, and seeking to do whatever I can to share in the burden-bearing. And as I shared in my message at Wednesday’s church prayer service, I’ve learned along the way that some sheep bite. However, I’ve come to realize that most of those bites are not intentionally malicious.
People and animals have some things in common. Both tend to lash out when they are frightened, when they experience a real or perceived loss of control, and when they feel abandoned. As a minister, one of the things I’ve come to understand is that it’s essential to listen for the meaning behind the stories that individuals tell. It’s important to view them as I do myself — as people who are walking through this spiritual pilgrimage by faith, often struggling, doubting, and fearing the unknown. For many, the prospect of change shakes them to their core. I know because I’ve been there too.
My heart’s desire is to see God breathe fresh wind and fresh fire into His Church. And as the old hymn says, “Lord, send a revival, and let it begin in me.”
The world in which we live is going through some major trials. People are hurting at every turn . . . desperate for hope . . . seeking answers to questions about which they dare not speak. Maybe you’re one of those people.
Life doesn’t always treat us kindly or turn out like we’d hoped it would. But one thing remains forever true: God is in control and is working out His purposes.
Many of you know that music is such an integral part of my life. It is a primary way in which I worship. This week the lines of one particular song have been going round and round in my head. It says simply: “God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”
As I lay my head down tonight, I do so with the satisfaction of knowing that my heart is full . . . my life has meaning . . . and I am loved with a love that won’t let go! God is completely trustworthy. My prayer is that you can know without a doubt how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of Christ. Don’t let another moment pass you by. Discover new life today.
I’ve added a new video to my Vodpod at right. It’s one of my very favorites: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” Check it out!