A Long Pathway

long pathwayAt first this article may not look like something belonging on my blog, but wait, what about when you feel called and you’re very fervent about it? Those feelings of frustration can have a huge effect on a marriage, especially when you have endured a long season of preparation and faced struggles you thought you would never overcome.
Patient Preparation
It feels like fire in your heart. It’s hard to contain that holy hunger of being called by God. Yet when God says be patient, there are things he wants us to learn. That is hard to accept. Yet if we got there too soon, we might not be prepared. God is preparing us through the very tug on our hearts that hurts so much. I don’t know how often I’ve fallen to my knees in prayerful tears, weeping for God to help me fulfill his purposes for my life, but learning dependence upon God seems a necessary part of preparation. Dependence upon God and Patience and faith go hand in hand. Faith helps ease the feeling of frustration when the ministry opportunities we long for are still further down the pathway, and our mission seems impossible.
Humble Honesty
How do you respond when you see someone already moving into their ministry when you are still developing yours? I have had to work at removing the thorn of jealousy from my heart. When I see someone who is already serving the LORD in the way I had hoped to, I still sometimes twinge a little at first. Then I admit what’s going on in the heart. A few years ago, I attended an out of state conference where people way younger than me, (who had incidentally been on the preparation road longer), received favor and rewards. I wanted that kind of encouragement and yearned for the ability to serve God like this. As I wrote in my prayer journal about it, God opened my eyes to see these young folks needed godly encouragement and maybe that’s one reason God placed me there. God didn’t place me there to torment me, but to learn more about my ministry and to learn how to rejoice in seeing someone else receiving their ministry. God is at work all over the place. As we praise him for the work he is doing in other people, it helps us keep our eyes where we need to be focusing.
Biblical Balance
Ephesians 2:10 says “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” It’s such a relief to know it’s up to God. He has it all planned out. Psalm 138:8a continues to encourage my heart as I prepare for ministry. It says “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me”. What joy this verse brings to a heart in the midst of trying and training. Philippians 1:6 is another verse to lean on. It says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work…will carry it on to completion”. This verse reminds a passionate heart that God is faithful. We can look at God’s steadiness in the cycle of days and nights and seasons. He created the world completely. We are still discovering his creation in the universe. It helps me to look up into the starry heavens sometimes and realize how big God is. He is capable and competent and not in the practice of quitting before the project is done— ever. God says to be still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10).
God doesn’t ask us to walk alone. God goes before us leading us. He will prepare each step for us, even if it is a long rocky uphill path, my job is to follow and believe that he can and will fill and use this earthen vessel for his glory. The truth of 2 Corinthians 4:7 keeps my heart balanced. It says, “… we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” On days when I’m feeling entirely inadequate I focus on the fact its God’s power which equips me. And some day, when God leads me into places I’ve always hoped for and dreamed of, I will remember, I’m an earthen vessel which God formed out of the dust of the earth. Yet, somehow, he gives us the awesome privilege of serving him.

*verses taken from the NIV