There are times when we feel completely abandoned by the people we love and trust. They turn their backs on us. They have expectations for us that we don’t meet or don’t even know.
I’ve often wondered why there have been so many times of loneliness in my life. Why? The longing of my heart is to have friends and be a team member.
Maybe I have a hint of an answer: Loneliness has driven me to my Lord. Is He lonely for me as I am for friends?
Also: The hurt in my heart makes me sensitive to others’ hurts. I can minister better to them as a result. I’m all-accepting, extremely anti-clique, because I have never belonged to a clique.
I think Jesus was too. He was excluded from the power circle of the Jewish leaders, so he consorted with the needy hearts of the outcasts of society.
Maybe God is permitting pain to sharpen your usefulness.
Posted in hurt, loneliness, pain
Tagged Bible, church, Faith, God, hope, Jesus, love, ministry, rejection, suicide, usefulness
Ender was forcibly denied a normal childhood. He couldn’t play but had to train incessantly. He couldn’t make friends because kids were made into adversaries. His was a lonely road to pre-adolescent general.
His trainers did this because no one else could save the planet from the impending invasion of buggers in sci-fi classic Ender’s Game. Without Ender, the Earth doesn’t stand a chance.
Was it justified to deprive Ender his childhood? As with any classic, author Orson Scott Card leaves the answer up to the reader.
My major motivation in life is to be useful. Personally, this is greater than individual accolades, power or money. The Bible says God will greet us in Heaven with these words: “Well done! Enter into joy!” To serve God and people!
Maybe Mary and Joseph had plans for a happy, quiet life. But they had to give that up, because Mary had to give birth to the Savior of the world. They suffered scorn; she was pregnant before the wedding. They had to live in Egypt for a time. At the end of Jesus’ life, Mary agonized to watch the fruit of her womb die. She was useful to God.
What useful service will you deny to the world just because you want to conserve your life for you?
Posted in Christianity, inspiration, psychology
Tagged books, childhood, children, Enders-Game, God, Heaven, Jesus, Mary, Orson Scott Card, science fiction, service, usefulness
If you have a lot of money, you’re a success. This American premise spills over into the church. With its inverse: if you are struggling for finances, you’re a failure.
But God doesn’t measure success by finances. He measures success by souls — and just ONE SOUL is incredibly important to him. Now as far as finances go, if you have barely enough to scrape by — and you are ministering to at least one soul — then by Bible standards and by God’s standards, you are a success.
So stop bumming over worldly comparisons that intrude and impose on the church. Jeremiah certainly didn’t have a lot of “members in his church.” And Paul knew how “to be in need… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” — Philippians 4:12 NIV.
Cheer yourself up! As you pray for finances, believe and wait. God will provide enough — maybe just enough — in His timing. As long as you have one soul in your church, you are providing a valuable service, and you’re a hero for Heaven. May scoffers shut up. God doesn’t measure by worldly (American) measures.
Posted in church finances
Tagged am I a failure?, Christianity, church, failure, Faith, finances, help, Jeremiah, pastor, pastoring, positive attitude, prayer, struggling pastor, success, usefulness, why?