I make it a key part of my presence online to encourage others, intentionally working to build others up as I have been invested in (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Yet I have seen a saddening trend recently, of amazing ministers, advocates and activists becoming frustrated, disillusioned and downcast. Easy to see why this would be the case in the troubling times we live in. But the worst part of it is, I have seen comments where such godly people have questioned their abilities to minister, queried if their sermons or activities are ‘good enough’ and in some cases, watched people who have inspired me walk away from their calling altogether.
I don’t for one second believe God’s belief in them changed. God loves each and every one of us thoroughly, fiercely and relentlessly. As we give, so they love. As we lean in, so they pour out. As we struggle, so they understand. God is not a strict teacher, marking our sermons with a red pen. Reflectiveness is good, but if we who speak to the world of God’s word truly believe in our call to do so, we must remain in a place of confidence that our words come from that call. From that relationship we have with God. Any doubts, test them in prayer with the spirit, or with a trusted spiritual advisor. I may have sermons which in time I would develop differently, but at the time I spoke them, they were from the heart and what I felt was needed. I will test the words the Holy Spirit gives me, yes. But I will not second guess them. God has not given me false words yet.
I can feel readers shrinking back from the confidence – even arrogance. Yet Jeremiah tells us those who wish to boast should do so only about the Lord, his love, justice and righteousness, and how he delights in such things. (Jeremiah 9:24). Life gets difficult, and complicated. We can’t always do what we want to do, in the way we want to do it. But we who know God can always speak of their love. How, when the world is falling apart, God sustains us. How, when our moods slip and our worlds close in to one room, one relationships, one step at a time, God protects us. How, when our senses are overwhelmed and our bodies are freefalling, God grounds us. We can always give our testimonies, even when we have nothing else to give.
‘Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.’ In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti tells this truth perfectly. I have been so blessed in my journey with online church over the last two years to see this playing out so strikingly. People who cannot get out of bed but will still record a prayer for a weekly service. People with so much to manage in their own daily routines but who still volunteer their time to share with others. People who can always be counted on to help out when needed, whatever the role required. People who spend their lives as prayer warriors, covering the activity of others with intercessions and thanksgiving as their way of maintaining involvement once their physical strength has waned. Whatever their contribution, when given with their full heart, it is more than enough. It is rejoiced over. It is celebrated with love.
Let me encourage you today. Wherever you are on your journey, however you serve God, whatever you do and however you feel. God loves you. Be bold in your ownership of your relationship with them and their call on your heart. Give back heart-fully, and you will be rejoiced over. It will always be more than enough. You will always be more than enough. Be blessed.
Peace be with you.