Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ministry Envy


They're taking trips together to the Holy Land, instagramming seagulls above the Sea of Galilee and the olive branch wreaths they made while in the Garden of Gethsemane. Touching the places where Jesus, himself touched.  Walking where He walked. Soaking in a kind of presence that I may never know.

After a number of days or weeks, they will come home with a more intense love and passion for our Savior, and that passion will spill over into us.  Books, sermons, and studies will be the overflow.

And I am envious.

Do you ever covet the ministry that others have?  Maybe it's your favorite singer or songwriter.  Maybe it's the woman in your church who loves the children so well.  For me, it's my favorite speakers and writers for Christ.  I just want to spend hour after hour soaking in and pouring out like they do.  I want to reach thousands.

And then a post from one of my favs just soothed my soul.  She had just returned from speaking at a phenomenal women's weekend retreat and was immediately immersed in loads of dishes and an all-nighter with a sick little one.  So life goes on there too, huh?

What I have to remind myself is that ministry is not something we do outside of our messy lives.  It's not a life-changing weekend that ends when it is time to get back to real life.  Ministry is our lives.  It's how we walk out what we preach.  Some of the women who rock ministries that I long to have, also sit in long carpool lines.  They also change twin diapers, and tweak the budget yet again, and entertain overly-tired children at the grocery check-out.

My ministry is not something that I long to get to.  I'm here now.  I may only write a couple of times a week or speak a couple of times a year, but my charge of loving women, encouraging marriages, and strengthening mothers never gets turned off.  I'm here now.  I'm in the thick of it, and if my focus remains on just getting through to the next writing day, I'll miss the exhausted friend who desperately needs a hug and someone to hold her baby.  I'll miss the sister in Christ who needs someone to say, tell me more about what you're going through.

If my focus remains there, I will one day wake up in the land of glory without a published book or a following of thousands, and hear my Savior say, what did you do with the hurting hearts I gave you?

The extremely dark and grainy photo above is of me and my youngest daughter in the wee hours of the morning.  I'm studying 1 Thessalonians, and she is reading a book called The Easter Story.

This, too, is ministry.

Today I am writing to myself, but if you find yourself here too, drink it in.

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