Tuesday, April 29, 2008

581 - The Father's Business

Luke 2:49-50 "Why were you searching for me? he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they [Mary and Joseph] did not understand what He was saying to them.

Ministry is really hard. Even when things are not "ministry" I have a tough time balancing things in order of importance. Fun always seems to be on the top of my list no matter who it is with or what it involves. I am a girl that loves to have a good time - that could be just sitting on the porch giggling with a friends, the kids, or Clay. I love to laugh. But I can honestly say there is nothing I love more than serving His people to bring them closer to the Lord or my greatest joy - bringing them to their first realization of needing a Savior!! That too is fun to me!

So why is ministry so hard then? I have a hard time doing ministry and not letting others things fall way behind. When we made the decision to move to Illinois I seriously thought I would most likely never speak again. That thought alone gave me sheer panic attacks - not really, but sort of. Ministry and specifically speaking is like breathing to me. I knew He had confirmed He was not done with me, but I just could see how in the world it would happen. God was taking away all the "props" that help ministry to happen - huge mega churches, well known ministry name, many well established speakers to glean knowledge from, opportunity on every corner, extremely supportive Christian radio stations, Bible Belt, etc... So as the calls came in for Jan. - May '08 the previous year I accepted every engagement. (On top of everything else I had no idea in '07 I would be moving into another house the following year.) I just knew it was coming to an end and I wanted to do all I could until it was over. Well, what happened - it got very, very tough on my family. I found myself gone 4 or 5 weekends in a row. I found myself speaking 3 or 4 times a week. I found my kids angry with me because mom was always at the computer preparing for the next thing - instead of supper, baseball, basketball, whatever it may be! Clay and I were at each other because of this huge scheduling debacle. I got myself in a serious pickle all in the name of ministry.

I see in the verse above that Jesus has a very similar problem with his parents. They had left Jerusalem after celebrating Passover. Traveling for one day they suddenly realized Jesus, 12 years old at the time, was not with them. It took 3 days to find Him, but where else? - in the temple. I love the momma's response, "Why have you treated us like this?" And as any 12 year old might respond, "Momma, what's up? You knew I had to be in here." But Mary and Joseph did not understand. I am sure it was more than just natural for Jesus to be in the Father's house. It was His house, it was His Dad's place, it was were He belonged - just not yet, full time!

For me that is the hard thing about ministry. I know we are dealing with the eternal. I am helping many to understand that if He is absent in their lives, eternity will not be good. It seems like a no-brainer to be involved in and for all to understand the importance of it. But I am not Jesus. I have not figured out how to balance it all for their best. I want to be about my Father's business, but that does not mean always away from the home. There are 4 little toe heads needing ministering to right at my hips. I certainly never meant to hurt any of my family in this busy ministering time, but ironically I was the one to not understand what HE was saying to me. Hopefully I pray there will be a day to be busy as a bee speaking across the nation or more, but for now I must be about the Father's business and that is mostly at home.

Thank you Lord for your patience and the patience you gave my family as we managed through this busy and frustrating time. Thank you for Clay's support even though it came in a different package through those months. Thank you for not allowing complete disaster to fall on our heads. Thank you for the talks it brought out in Clay and I and how to "do" this thing better. Thank you for the prayers of all the many warriors holding us up during that time. Thank you specifically for Valarie because she just knew the right words to pray at the exact time. Thank you for Lisa that consoled me on that long trip to Nashville in tears and frustration. And my day breaks away to Evansville with Courtney. Oh Jesus, if you do see fit to give me more opportunities to minister I pray I will work slowly through it all and seek guidance. I pray I will have the courage to turn down opportunities and trust You will supply again. I so want to be about your business - please show me what that is for today.... ugh, laundry!!! I love you Lord!


Nicki said...

Love to read you "working this out" with the Lord. It's helpful!! It really is!! =)

Lindsee said...

Sweet Leigh! This was so sweet and tender. Your heart is so precious.

I have a fear that starting Monday, ministry may take over my life. I am going to start from the beginning practicing time management. No, I don't have family to tend to at home, but I have a soul that needs tending to.

I don't want to be so in love with just 'ministry', but with Jesus to. He is the reason for ministry!

Thank you for this reminder!