It’s easy to start feeling down when you’re laid up recovering from surgery, an injury, benched for a season, etc. Doubts will come in about your effectiveness in ministry or life. You may even believe that the things you have done have been fruitless. What we need to do instead is focus our attention on Jesus.
One thing that comes to mind is when Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NKJV): And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I believe that sometimes we forget that it’s God who’s doing the work. Many times we get so focused on serving Him that we may forget that we need to be where He’s working. There maybe deadlines we need to make, financial obligations that need to happen, etc. and we forget that in ministry, it is He who provides.
I started to write this after my recovery from my recent surgery. I really felt it is important to share about what I learned. however, I felt I needed to wait to finish this.
During my recovery time, I fell into a time of depression. It is hard to going from being active to going to a time of sitting still. During this time, I was reflecting on everything in regards to the ministry that He has allowed me to do. It seemed to me as if we were being ineffective, I was ready to close the doors and shut it all down.
I prayed and cried out to The Lord because this definitely is not something that came from God. I was asking Him what is next, pleading with Him to show me. I argued with Him about where He has our fellowship during this time. Basically, I told Him that I quit.
In all of this turmoil, I heard a still quiet voice that told me He was not done with me yet. He started to remind me that He had something bigger than I could even picture. He revealed to me that I have not spent the time with Him that I needed to. He used that time to speak to me.
In this time He reminded me that I cannot focus on things by what we can see. He told me to move our fellowship.
It sounded crazy because we had dwindled a little bit since our previous move. When I heard this call, I prayed for specific things to happen. He had to provide the finances to get our fellowship back on track. He had to direct our paths to where we would move. He had to provide the finances to secure the new location. He also had to provide the finances to prepare the location. He had to prepare those who were part of our fellowship to be ready and agree to the move (After all, we need to be sure there would be support from others to do the ministry).
Here’s what happened:
In a matter of a week, the fellowship’s finances got caught up, we were about 2 months behind.
In searching for a location, the first spot we thought would work was not quite feasible for us, we would have had to share with 2 other ministries which would hinder what we do. In calling about other locations, we left messages and still to this day have not had any return calls. One Sunday afternoon, while looking for a new location, we were not only able to talk to someone right away about this new location, but, he has been in continuous communication with us.
Within 4 days of looking at this new location, we were able to negotiate with the property owner, a lease that would work for us.
Within a week and a half, we had the money needed to secure the new location.
The people in the fellowship are very excited to see how God is going to work through us in this new location.
There have been some bumps along the way so far but God is bringing those who need to be involved to get the things in place, like utilities.
There are guys who really want to do the construction needed.
We are still waiting on the finances for the construction, however, because He has been faithful with everything else, we know He will provide.
In talking with people in this new area for us, they are anticipating our move. We held our Men’s ministry this past Saturday at there and had prayer and coffee. We were able to speak with people passing by and invited them in for coffee and want to be part of what God is going to do there.
All of this to say this, when things seem like they are not working, look to Him. Trust that he has a plan for all of this. It may not look like the way you think or others think, it is going to work the way He wants it to. He will bring glory through all of it.
I was reminded of a story:
A guy fell off a cliff. He was able to grab a tree growing out of the side off the cliff. He was scared and called for help. He heard a voice that said, “Let go.” He said, “No way, I don’t want to die.” After some discussion back and forth, the voice was able to finally convince him to let go. He was only 2 feet from the ground.
Don’t give up right before you see the result. You never know when it’ll appear. Keep Trusting Him and following His Lead.
Until next time:
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NKJV):
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”