I’ve been a born again believer in Jesus Christ now for 21 years. I’ve been in this world for almost 39 years; following orders and the “right way” has never been my strong suit. The only major difference I can feel at times in the last 21 years WITH Jesus as my Lord has been that the sting of not getting what my heart desires has been less painful and short lived.
I have felt the calling of the Lord on my life to serve as His disciple in organized ministry since 2008 when I was given the opportunity to finish my Masters. Before then it was all for my own sugar-coated assurance that I was a “good boy” and wanted to help leave my mark on the world. Instead, the world left an even deeper wound on me. It has seemed like an eternity for me to quit trying to convince myself that my personal, selfish desires that have caused me pain and failure as well as a path of brokenness; we’re SAVABLE ENOUGH to justify my calling in ministry.
To me, I was a persistent, chronic, habitual, in denial LOSER. But to Jesus, as time has persisted, as His grace and love have, sees my purpose so different than I do. After my first ministry only lasted for just over a year and three months, I was beginning to feel the similar failure pattern already in ministry that I had in my job history. As of today, 32 different “jobs” since I was 15. There just hasn’t been a fit worth more than a few years max until currently at Terminix.
Zenas was a rebirth of confidence in my journey for ministry. The people were/are so easy to love and bring Jesus to; yet as much as I fell in love with those there, God said NO. The disappointment and pain only lasted a few months, for the fill in spots kept sporadically coming dulling the reality of another desire stifled. I began asking myself more than I was getting answers to….what’s wrong with me? Why am I not a quality, trusted leader for God’s children for a longer time? What is it exactly that I’m suppose to gain from all this?
Then another, more closer and promising place to see God shape and mold….Medora Christian. Coming into the first few pulpit supplies, you could sense that the people showed a hunger for Jesus that I hadn’t seen in awhile and were building the resources to achieve their ministry goals. A beautiful new fellowship building, updated sound equipment, and an openness for change helpful for ministry growth!
What was not to love? Everybody seem to be warm and inviting, the kind of people that you would automatically assume are just like family. Immediately putting their trust in me, my leadership skills, and my passion for God; having keys to the building, control of their Facebook page and invited to make any changes I see fit for the worship service. Medora Christian Church felt like home.
*sigh*…..But like most homes, there is always things that make our human sides be more dominant than our Christ-like sides. Trying hard to not have the same opinion of Medora as I ultimately had for my last ministry, I kept trying to see beyond the drama. Drama is common amongst the church, in fact what would a house of broken sinners be like if there wasn’t drama. Don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a dig towards Medora. This is a statement from a servant frustrated with the drama of the traditional necessities.
There is NO greater desire in my soul or my life than to serve my Lord and win souls with LOVE. But….it’s the acknowledgement again I must give that what I desire and want might not be what the Lord has for me….right now. Ouch….that hurts so much.
The ministry was going well and it seemed as if people were digging deeper in the walk with God….the youth was just warming up to me and beginning to show signs of trust. Why would we as Christians not see that as MO RE meaningful and important to God’s Kingdom than if someone lived in the same town or was alone in service? Alone in service because God has called them to serve somewhere else. Is that a wrong practice to support? If two people, who are married, have accepted that they may serve somewhere else because of His calling on them individually, yet love and support one another still deeply, be seen as not fit for ministry because they aren’t together serving?
Jesus was most effective by himself, just He and His Father in Heaven. Sure the disciples were by His side and learned from Him, but Jesus initiated all ministry moments. Paul was alone. He had followers too, yet each of them were called with a purpose away from Paul to serve our Lord. The only problem I have is why does the traditional desires hold more validity of motion within the church leadership than God’s obvious work?
Why is change so scary? Why does ruffling some deep pockets of the church’s checking account prevent us from being obedient in FAITH? Why….do I always have to say goodbye? Why does my heart crave what realistically I cannot have? Well….the picture is becoming more clear daily….through the pain, through the broken heart, and through my selfishness. And it’s so simple if only I could release what of ME is in the way; then I can be more worshipful in acceptance to His guidance. Because, just like now with my family at Medora Christian Church….sometimes His answer is NO.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the lord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.