A few weeks ago I took my oldest son to a homeschool convention. One of the vendors had a “mine your gemstones” station. As a science buff who loves to dig in dirt, my son immediately took his place in line. He was given a few palmfuls of stones and taught to screen sift them. His ending result, six small gemstones.
In comparison to the amount of matter he began with, this small amount could easily have caused disappointment. However, his eyes lit up as he compared the colors of the gems and he focused on their beauty. This lesson from an innocent seven year old prompted me to think about my reactions as a woman in ministry.
Ministry workers face the ease of falling into a negative “slump”. Whenever one reaches out to those who are lost and looking for Jesus, it is easy to become frustrated when there isn’t an immediate response to our message. I recognize that I am critical at times and I find myself struggling to be an encourager. My goal is to uncover the gems and positive characteristics that I can find and hope that I can use those areas as a mine for change.
As an employee of a pregnancy care center I meet with numerous clients who face surmounting difficulties. Most of them are broken in spirit due to the lack of cheerleaders in their lives. I admit, frustration mounts as I try to relay information and advice. I am called to remember that God loves ALL sinners.
It can be difficult at times to find the gemstones as we sift through all their rubble and dirt, but the greatest satisfaction is found in the most radical changes. When we set our standards high for those we are shepherding, we are often amazed at how they will rise to the challenge and often surpass our expectations.
Hebrews 10:24-25 24: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”