I’ve heard it said, and believe it to be true, that Pastors are called to Ministry in one of two ways; the singular moment, eye opening experience that forever changes their life, or by gentle nudgings by the spirit over the course of years.
I don’t know how you experienced your ministry calling.
For myself, I know my calling came in bits and pieces over the years, and I am 100% certain that the Lord has call me into Youth Ministry, and have been for a long time. I’ve been Ordained, the public affirmation of the call of God on my life, and I live my life in complete surrender to God and his will for me and my family.
But if we can be honest for a minute, my 100% certainty of my call still leaves me with days where I can’t help but question “God, surely, this is not what you had in mind for Ministry. I have to be doing something wrong, others could do this so far better than I could, are you sure I am supposed to be here?”
There are nights I lay in bed wrestling with God in my mind, where I tell him I’m inadequate, a big fat phony, a sinner undeserving of his love, and a failure as a Youth Pastor.
Tonight is one of those nights.
My mind has already gone through the lists of my shortcomings, the traits that a “Good Youth Pastor” should have that I very evidently don’t, the fact that I am not an extroverted person but am wired to sit back in the corner and observe what is happening so I can know how to best tweak it. Even the things that I consider as strengths to be told are viewed as weaknesses.
It’s times like these that the voice of God can so easily be drowned out by wrestling of my thoughts, and it can be far too easy to not stop and listen.
God got my attention tonight with Thunder. As I sat on my porch reading my bible, strike after strike got louder and louder, and time and time again I had to close my iPad to catch my breathe from the sound. So I finally put it away and just sat, assuming God wanted my attention.
If this was a Christian Movie, now’s the time where the rain would cease and the birds would come out and I would hear the faint whisper of God and all would turn out right.
In real life, the storm picked up. I heard no calm whisper, but instead saw the anger in the sky.
Who am I to tell God “You let me down?” Who am I to say to the Lord “Your plan has failed?” Who am I to have the audacity to deny God that his grace is far more abundantly enough for me, and that his power is perfected in my weakness?
I will not deny the mercy of the Lord. I will always have shortcomings, I will never be “the complete package” of a Youth Pastor.
But God has made us a promise, he has a started a good work in us and he will continue to carry it through, and no matter how inadequate we feel, we just have to lean into him. His grace is enough. He is enough.
My shortcomings may never go away, but neither will my God, in whom I have full confidence.