Step upon step I climbed up the narrow spiraled staircase leading to the Oxford Tower. I didn’t know what I would see. All I knew was the history I had just learned from the tour guide about Oxford Palace and its tower. With each step, I didn’t know how close I was to the top. I wondered how high we’d have to climb. I had no grid for this staircase or my destination. One thing was certain, I had to follow my guide and place one foot in front of the other.
Life is a lot like this. We don’t know when we will reach our breakthrough or destination or even “ministry”. We hear the promise of God over our lives and believe it. We hold on with faith to what God has spoken yet wonder when will we get there. What waits for us? Will we ever get to the end?
I’ve thought a lot about ministry lately. I’m guilty of falling prey to the misconception that “ministry” is defined as being in the public eye, having a large following or being involved in a lot of church activities. All of this is great and noble. Yet, I find myself looking at life and thinking something is off with this picture. I’m wasting my life and opportunities, today, in the hope that “ministry” will land on my doorstep or fall in my lap. I can’t wait around for someone to stop and take notice of me, pass me a baton and say “Here’s your ministry. Go and change the world!”
But, that’s what we do, isn’t it? We wait for some pastor, spiritual leader, role model, mentor, etc to give us the thumbs up to launch our “ministry”. What if we’ve been in our ministry all along but are missing it because it’s not what we expect?
You see, for me, a public ministry will merely appease my desperate desire to be seen and heard. This desire can only be met by God who does see and hear me. If “ministry” was to meet this desire, I’d collapse under immense pressure and land up burnt out and useless to my family and community.
Where’d we go so wrong?
We stopped looking to God and turned to man for recognition, affirmation, validation, and self-worth. (Am I being too harsh? Maybe.)
My ah-ha moment
As I lay with my youngest boy, hoping he’d fall asleep soon so I could make a getaway, the Lord took over my pondering. In that moment, I realized I have no control over God or my future. All I can do is have a heart set on God and be faithful with what he has given me TODAY! I don’t know what will be in my hands or life tomorrow. I only have today to make a difference in my children’s lives, my hubby’s heart, and touch the people around me. Today, I can talk to you with the hope God will encourage your heart through these words. Tomorrow is God’s problem.
That’s it! If you and I are focused on God and being faithful with Today, it’s God’s job to lead us right into our destiny, purpose, and ministry. (Read this post on how you can know what is God’s job and your’s.) We need to be willing, obedient, and discerning of God opportunities.
Let me back this up with Scripture. We all know the story of the servants and the talents in Matthew 25: 14-28. The first two servants didn’t know they would be rewarded with more talents after their faithful diligence. They knew their master’s heart and what they had been asked to do. They set out to do just that. They were faithful with the small in that moment. Their reward was being trusted with more.
This comes back to the concept of small beginnings. We can’t jump start into fame and fortune or glitz and glam. Life is a process, walking with God is a journey, and our lives are a ministry to the people around us. We need to be faithful with what God has entrusted us with today.
For some of us, this is our family, jobs, friendships. For others, it may be church ministry, public speaking, great influence, etc. It all depends on what God has placed in your hands and life right now.
My small things are my family, marriage, work, writing, friendships, and children. As I look into the future, Holy Spirit highlights to me that the things he is entrusting me with today are to dream alongside my husband, create a happy home with a beautiful family (albeit imperfect), homeschool my boys, and continue with my writing. This is what he wants me to be faithful with today until the Lord leads differently.
Back to the staircase
The end of the staircase, for many of us, is that moment when we are released into “ministry”. It’s that moment of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt we are living our calling and purpose. The stairs are the steps we take to get there. God knows the steps needed so he asks us to become a people of greater faith. It takes faith and trust in the promise, God (the guide) and the process. God is making us into a people of robust and resilient faith. We keep climbing that staircase no matter how rickety, narrow, and dark until we break into the top of the tower to see the whole world before us. The view is worth the wait. God doesn’t disappoint but continues to amaze and astound us.
My prayer for you and me is for God to open our eyes to greater discernment of the opportunities he sends every day for us to show people his love and heart. I pray that we would discern what he is calling us to be faithful with, today. Those who are faithful with little will be made faithful with much.
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