I was so encouraged yesterday being in the presence of people who listen to and follow God’s leading.
Michelle, Yura and I were invited to come and speak at Seaside Vineyard Church about our trip. We were so appreciative. We actually spoke to the congregation in both services!! How awesome! I was blown away by the response of everyone. Talking about post-abortion ministry can be a hard thing for a pastor. It can be seen as too intrusive, too in your face. But Mark and the people of Seaside were so gracious and truly supportive.
We had several people come up and talk with us afterward. Some shared painful stories. Some were led to give us money. One person told me that someone owed them money and knowingly gave more than was owed, telling them to keep the extra. This person felt like God had given them that unexpected blessing in order to bless us. I was so encouraged.
A few months ago I was feeling very discouraged. Going on a mission trip is not as romantic a venture as some like to think… as I thought before embarking on this journey. I was surprised to find out that there was paper work involved and phone calls, crunching numbers, sitting at the computer for long hours typing! This isn’t ministry!! I’m staring at a computer screen for crying out loud!! But these things are part of ministry. Dealing with my own bad attitudes and people with bad attitudes is part of it too. Getting your feelings hurt, being shot down occasionally – ok, a lot – wanting to quit. Yep, this is all part of ‘ministry’.
So when I finally began realizing all of this, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue. But then I remembered, oh yeah, we already bought our tickets… shoot. And then God reminded me, in a very powerful way, that it wasn’t my desire, it wasn’t my heart, it wasn’t because of me any of this was happening. It’s because God has a desire for post-abortion women to find healing. He is the reason I even have an awareness of this need. None of it came from anything I did.
He will make it happen. He will give me what I need when I need it. He will move in the hearts of people and I have the privilege of standing back and watching Him work.
So thank you God for using the people of Seaside to remind me of this fact. I get weary, I get discouraged, I even want to give up sometimes – several times a day in fact. But I can’t and I wont until you call me to something else.
Like I was telling one of my sons this morning, sometimes we have to do hard things. We have to make a choice to do the right thing. And doing the right thing doesn’t always feel right because is it so hard to do. I think it’s time to start listening to my own advice…
Therefore, TAKE up the full armor of God, that you may be able to RESIST in the evil day, and having DONE everything, to STAND FIRM. STAND FIRM therefore, having GIRDED your loins with truth, and having PUT ON the breastplate of righteousness, and having SHOD your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, TAKING UP the shield of faith… and TAKE the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all PRAYER and PETITION, PRAY at all times in the Spirit and with this in view, be on the ALERT with all PERSEVERANCE and PETITION for all the saints… Ephesians 6:13