Ministry gets messy.
Our professional lives reflect this truth. We feel God’s call to share our gifts but face repeated rejections. We discover multiple differences in employer and co-worker expectations regarding matters of faith. What works with one guarantees a closed door with others.
All too often, we also expect a life of perfection when we follow Jesus. However, our world remains filled with turmoil, conflict, disaster, and sorrow. We reach out to others in Jesus’ name but frequently get our overtures spurned in no uncertain terms. We work with fellow believers whose ideas differ from ours. Time after time, our efforts appear to fall flat, and we wonder what went wrong.
Yet Jesus never promised an easy life. In fact, He lived and taught the opposite. Jesus suffered ridicule, torture, and death from those He came to serve. His followers misunderstood and, at times, undermined His mission. Religious leaders and others in authority resented and rejected His message. Nevertheless, Jesus never stopped teaching or reaching out to everyone in love.
Our most powerful messages often occur during our worst times. Personal difficulties enable us to minister with spoken and written words to those who hurt. Because of our struggles, they listen to what we say. Setbacks challenge us to keep going and growing and to keep honing our spiritual message to make it as clear and compelling as possible. Jesus gave His best. Our service in His name deserves no less.
When we follow Jesus’ example, we rest assured of His never-failing guidance, peace, and presence. We give thanks for the mundane and the miraculous, especially when our messes become ministry moments.
Ask God to help you live as Jesus lived and love as Jesus loved, regardless of your circumstances or the responses you receive.
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Diana Derringer is author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! She writes for several publications and enjoys traveling with her husband and serving as a friendship family to international university students. She offers life lessons from English expressions at dianaderringer.com.