Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Divine Encouragement

I'm struggling finding a sentence with which to start this post. My goal is to be regularly blogging posts of encouragement, words to help friends who are in the trenches of ministry, who may happen to find themselves in well-worn shoes similar to mine. But that goal of encouragement is hard to reach on when days when I feel like I need an encouraging word myself.

It's no secret that ministry is hard. Bearing the burdens of others, fervently coming to the Lord on their behalf, praying and hoping (not always patiently) that certain things come to fruition...it can weigh a person down. And I find myself needing constant reminders of why I do what I do. I know I love my job, I know I'm where God's called me to be, I know I don't see myself doing anything else right now. Yet even with all that knowledge, sometimes I need to look in the eye the reason why my life is ministry.

This past week, that reason looked like this:

These notes contain the hearts of my students. They are filled with the things they themselves are struggling with, are discouraged by. They are cries for help, asking someone just to listen to them and come alongside as they walk through every day life. When I see something like this, I feel needed. I feel like what I do matters...and there is huge encouragement in that! Maybe that sounds a little too egocentric, and I'm fully aware that God doesn't need me in this at all...He could accomplish his purposes through anyone in this position any way he wanted. Yet He's chosen me for that job. He handpicked me to be here, and to be here now. 

When I find myself discouraged, sometimes knowing that I'm chosen is the best encouragement of all.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." -Philippians 1:3-6

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