And whatever you do in word or in deed, do it all in the name of The Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
I am used to the pressure from the world. I am actually quite immune to most of it. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am right where I am supposed to be. I feel no guilt when I pass the high school where I used to teach. Ten years ago I walked out door of my classroom. That night my water broke, and my life began. I have never looked back! Although difficult, I know that God has called me to this 24 hour job and its countless blessings.
Church pressure, however, is a different matter. There are so many verses that can feel pointed at me to make me feel guilty. So many needs in the world and in the body of Christ. And who will fill them if not me?
This past few months I have been made increasingly aware of my inability to meet these needs. With five children ages 10,8,6,4,2 we have been battling a cold, or a stomach funk, or a nasty cough the last 3 months without much relenting.
I have had 5 close friends give birth without be being able to bless them with a meal.
I haven’t served in the nursery once during this forced sabbatical.
Not to mention the women’s Bible studies I haven’t been able to attend.
I am just just trying to catch my breath all the while feeling guilty for breathing. One second I feel relief to be chipping away at Mount Laundrymore, and cleaning those breakfast dishes, but not for long. Within seconds I am reminded how I never made those meals for my friends and now there is another dear friend who could use a meal.
So I breathe. And try to remember my Lord. My savior.
What was his ministry? Discipling.
How many disciples did he have? 12.
Emmanuel had 12, and has entrusted me with 5.
That is a pretty tall order in my book. In theory, we know that Jesus left the 99 to reach the one. We have heard the story of the man throwing starfish back in the sea. “It matters to that one” he famously opines. Yet at the same time we are so focused on quantity. How many are in your church? How many in your Bible study? How many souls have you won? Meals have you cooked? Flyers have you passed out? Studies are you teaching? Work days attended? Aaaaaaaahhhhh!
Isaiah 40:11 says that the shepherd gathers his sheep into His bosom. Sigh. That sounds nice. But it gets better. It goes on to say that “he gently leads those that have young.” That’s me. I have young. And if he is gentle with me, than who am I to be so hard on myself. I am making disciples, I am feeding the hungry, I am caring for the wounded and broken-hearted, times 5, around the clock. And I am doing it in the name of The Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Don’t get me wrong, part of my discipleship program includes visiting the elderly in nursing homes, bringing the love of Jesus through cookies and smiles to our neighbors, loading up the disciples in the van to bring a meal to a family in need, or just showing them how to tell someone about Jesus in the grocery line. But when my discipleship program takes an unexpected turn, I will rest in the one that controls my path. I will rejoice in the mundane, and be content pouring love into my five. Guilt free!