When considering longevity in the ministry, I would like to share a couple of photos of one of my recent adventures to drive this thought home. My husband and I are currently in Germany for an unknown amount of time for his work. This is one of my favorite castles, but it brings together a concept.
When we are saved, we are called to ministry. What this looks like, is different for every one of us, but we are all called to use the gifts God has given us in some way. We don’t always know right away what that ministry is, it is a journey. Once God has called us, we can feel that longing to minister in a specific way. If you will, let’s call that “longing” or “call” the “destination”. At first you see this “destination” from afar off.It has a long and windy path with twists and turns which I would compare to your ministry path. These twists and turns may cause you to question if you are in the “right” ministry or if God really knew what He was doing when He called you. Can I get an amen? We have all been there! We have all thought “this is tough, God”. “I am not this strong!” This destination will surely bring true heartbreak as you watch people pull away from God, and you will think a million times “Is it time for me to leave this ministry.” Our destination ministries are likely all different, but what we can know for sure is that the God who has called us to this ministry, will certainly call us elsewhere if he feels we are finished with that ministry.
I am currently in a crossroads of life that is making me take a look at whether, at this time, God is calling me to a different ministry. My husband and I are not in “full-time ministry”, but God has called us to an Upward Basketball ministry and Women’s ministry. My husband’s full time job has us in and out of the country and our two children keep us busy. One with gymnastics and the other with basketball and OT for a diagnosis that we have received recently. Life is busy, our kids need us, and I am homeschooling, so I have recently thought “Is it my time to turn over the baton of Women’s ministry?” I don’t know what God would have me to do, but my prayer is that he would clearly show me in His time. I know for sure that He will be faithful to do so. Either way, I know that ministry is not over for me, I will continue on until the day He calls me home, but it may look different than where he has me serving today.
Just as I could not see clearly the details of the castle from the top of the hill, they became more clear to me, every step of the path (why we didn’t spring for the 2 euro’s a person to ride the bus, also wasn’t clear at the time, lol!). As I pray through this next crossroads, I know it will also become more clear to me.
There’s a passage that we all learned growing up, and I dare say that most of us take it for advantage.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord and turn away from evil…
I am certain that half of my life’s struggle is spent “leaning on my own understanding”, which is probably why Solomon repeated “do not be wise in your own eyes”… It kind of hits home for me!
I may be the only one that tries to “help” God with my decisions, but in case I am not, later in Proverbs (16:3) it says “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.”
In the midst of these times of crossroads, I also need to head to Philippians 4:6 for another verse I have known my whole life, but tend to forget in the thick of it. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
We all know that God wants to help us, but we act like we don’t want to bother him with our struggles. The long haul works best when we constantly stick with the guide and follow his instruction, so get those hiking shoes on and follow that guide down the LONG hill on the cobblestone path, a little farther than you ever thought you could go, and see something beautiful!