After Four Years in the Pastorate

Ministry (like life in general) certainly has challenges.  My previous post indicated that.  But I don’t want to give the impression that the only thing wonderful about my life in the ministry is that I’m getting closer to Heaven with each passing day.  There are many wonderful things that happen along the way as well.

In recent days I have prayed for a church member and seen him healed of cancer.  Our church is getting ready to baptize a young woman who only a few months ago was not on speaking terms with God.  The situation mentioned in the last post has improved considerably, and there are signs that all parties involved are getting a new start.  Every week I have the privilege of digging deeply into a passage of Scripture in preparation for my sermon, and God constantly opens himself up to me in wonderful ways, making me more aware of his grace.  The leaves of northern Kentucky are colorful this time of year, and I can step outside and admire them any time I want.  Some of my best friends are well over fifty years old.  People leave tomatoes on our porch (not that I’m crazy about tomatoes, but there is something wonderful about living in a community where vegetables are homegrown and spread around).  Life truly is great here.

I have heard too many ministers whine (whether in person or on the internet) about their situations.  So many of us succumb to cyncism, despair, and loneliness.  We have not eyes to see the beauty, the wonder, of what we have.  There will always be days, even seasons, of misery.  But I have found that simply sticking around, showing up, and faithfully doing what God has called you to do will eventually lead to a break in the clouds.  And then you have enough light to see what you could not see before: that all around you the signs of grace have always been there.  They’re like mustard seeds, so easy to miss at first, but so difficult to ignore later. 

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