I have been in ministry all of my adult life and at times I still struggle to remember the basics. It is far too easy for me to get caught up in the day to day obligations and neglect my primary responsibility which is connecting myself with Jesus Christ. Everything I can offer the world as a wife, mother, friend, pastor, or teacher flows from that connection. I know this like I know my name. Yet I forget.
This truth manifested itself in my circumstances as recently as last weekend. I was flirting with worry. A decision beyond my control had presented itself and I was waiting to find out which way it would go. If it went the way that seemed less desirable to me, it would hurt me. More dangerous yet, it would offend me. And in my mind, I was already preparing a response to how I would handle that offense.
As I sat in a worship service and listened to the praise band, I felt the whisper of the Holy Spirit speak to my anxious heart. Don’t get ahead of me, Angie. I paused my singing and pondered that conviction in my thoughts. Tears stung my eyes as the music continued to play. It was a gentle reminder to wait on Him. I didn’t know what was coming. I didn’t know much of anything at all about the work He was doing or the plans He had already made. And I certainly didn’t need to be making up battle plans when there was no indication that war was on the horizon.
Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.” (MSG) It was my ministry fatigue getting to me that evening. It was my focus on all that I had given that I imagined being unappreciated. It was my pride in the gifts I had shared that I dreamed up were overlooked. It was the all too familiar shift of focus from His face to my need to be recognized.
A few moments later, I found myself in the serving line for communion. When I tore a piece of bread from the loaf, I remembered His love for me. As I dipped that piece of bread in the cup, I remembered His sacrifice for me. While I knelt at the altar to pray, I remembered His relentless pursuit of my heart.
I get tired of serving. I know we all do from time to time, especially when it seems like we are doing a lot of planting and very little harvesting. But when we get distracted by all that isn’t happening or when we begin to make up stories in our minds about how others aren’t noticing, let us recall the promise in this verse. A harvest is coming if we don’t give up.