Over the last several weeks, I have really reflected on my willingness to serve God in various capacities. When I was younger, not divorced, and didn’t have some of the life circumstances I currently possess, I could be pretty choosy about where I served God. I could be more particular about location, church size, salary, and many other things. The bottom line is this – I gave God terms and conditions on where, when, and how I would serve. Circumstances don’t allow me to be so selective now.
You may ask why I was so selective. It was very much selfish. The biggest reason was my fear of experiencing church hurt once again. I told God I wouldn’t serve a particular church because it was notorious for eating pastors alive, and I knew they would have a good time with me, considering how much meat is on my body😂. Seriously…There was an arrogant part of me that wanted a church of a certain size, worship style, and mindset. Even then, the risk of being hurt still exists. Why? Churches are full of people who end up hurting people. Not everyone intends to do that, but it happens.
Here is my point of surrender. Several divorced and remarried pastors expressed this to me. They said that, on this side of divorce, only the troubled churches would call them to be their pastor. One pastor said of his first pastorate after his divorce that “they would have called Lucifer to be their pastor because they were so desperate”. I finally came to the point of being willing to serve these troubled spots if God calls me to do so.
As of now, I am fulfilling an interim worship role at my church and am in the support-raising stage for Standing Stone Ministry in addition to my day job as a hospice chaplain. If God would redirect me to pastor a struggling church, I’m now willing to do that. The terms and conditions I gave God are now out the window.
How would I apply this to you?
Don’t be so arrogant to think you’re above any particular assignment for God! God has a way of humbling us and showing us who is really the important one. Hint: it’s not us!
Don’t let the possibility of hurt stop you from doing God’s will! I’m faced with the reality of hurt feelings every day. Your spouse will hurt your feelings. So will your kids, coworkers, people at the grocery store, and so on. That doesn’t stop us from facing our family or going to work. Hurt is inevitable! We simply must learn how to process it.
Rather than giving God your terms and conditions, give Him a blank sheet of paper. Trust Him enough to direct your steps. He is loving and won’t leave you alone. It won’t be easy, but He promises His power and presence. I can assure you that you won’t regret obeying His plan. He knows best!