"And He was saying to them all "IF anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me...."- Luke 9
Today some friends and I had the chance to visit with a couple who ministers in another country( the husband is a pastor)...Today was the most encouraging, draining, and emotional time for me. For the past couple of weeks(maybe months) I have been struggling with the whole hospitality aspect of ministry and just what limitations should there be for our family as we try to reach this neighborhood for Christ..my complaint has been,"honey, you know..we have to make sure we protect our family"... With that being said, I came up with a family ministry plan on when to have people over, what times, what day of the week, what day is for games, what day is for just hanging out.... talk about LIMITATIONS..
Little did I know what effect this would have on my life and marriage. My poor husband has been discouraged with my support. I thought I was doing great, ha! But seriously, I told my self, "girl, you already moved into the hood, what else the man want' ( as if I didn pray about the decision to come on staff as well) The couple we saw today talked about how hospitality looked in their country..how there were NO LIMITATIONS when you invited others into your home..they said they noticed how here in america that we dont allow people to come through our homes..come through in a sense where you invite them in but you keep them out of certain rooms, or maybe you place restrictions on your things..As I was sitting there listening to them talk about their country, fell into tears thinking about the limitations I have placed on what I considered "our home".. Was this not what I agreed to when I told Jesus I would die to myself and follow Him? Better yet, what was the commitment I gave my husband in joining him in HIS calling into this ministry...ya'll I am soo heavy with conviction over the way I have acted... I love having people in our home, but in my heart it was like, I did it with no joy...with no confidence in this being what the LORD has called us to do...I had a friend to remind me..."life is so easy when you know what the LORD want you to do..it becomes hard when you dont have peace in knowing for sure if thats the calling on your life..knowing what the LORD wants you to do helps you ACCEPT the challenges, the trial and all the suffering that ministry/life may bring"
Today I was encouraged with the fact that being in full time ministry is hard work and very messy...But God says in Hebrew 4:14-16 that.."Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need"
God knows EXACTLY what he has called our family too, I dont have to place restrictions on the amount of food I use to feed people in our neighborhood, because HE has promised to provide all of our needs according to HIS riches...When I feel worn out from kids in the neighborhood being in our home all day and worrying about how my husband isn't helping me ( is that even biblical?? I thought woman was made for man?? clearly...) I can remind my self that Jesus understands, he himself would get burned out...BUT would then turn to the one who can give us STRENGTH to endure all things and look to HIM to provide what I need to continue to minster to others...I dont have to worry and try to play God or Jr holy spirit on my husband, or try to manipulate him in spending what I FEEL is time with family..the truth is..my husband does that..VERY WELL...just because its not what I want, how I want and when.. I start to trip...I have to learn to be content in all circumstances..be content when he is home and when the LORD places him outside the home to minister to others.. In our times of need(family time, break from ministry, ect...) GOD has promises to provided that if its for our good and HIs glory...what I am to do is just what he says..If that's feed the people, than feed them...if its open your doors, open them... I am to deny my self, pick up my cross and do it with JOY!! would you please pray for me as I began a new perspective on ministry and accept the TRUTH that this Life that I live is no longer my own..but that I have been brought with a price
Father, thank you for all the conviction and the trials that you use to show us the filthiness that is in our hearts...I pray all the time, "GOD show me who you are" yet, i respond as if I dont know you or as if you are not doing just that...This is what is means to know you in the fellowship of your sufferings, oh my GOd!!!! what joy and peace knowing that I am identifying with you when I go through trials..Help me to keep a fresh perspective on our calling...and holy spirit please continue to help me be a excellent helper to Kevin..Thank you for such a God fearing man..what a privilege to rebuild the city along side of him..my I not tear my house down, but build it up
in Jesus name,