Ministry – The Loneliest Profession

Some might think this posting is a negative commentary on the ministry, but it is not.  It is not meant to be negative, or depressing, but rather a truthful and faithful assessment of what it means to be a minister of Christ.

Despite the title of this posting, being a minister or pastor can afford you many relationships, friendships, and life-long associates.  These are valuable to the minister, as the burden can become heavy at times, and there needs to be those individuals you can confide in, and know they are not going to be critical of your failures or short-comings.

However, all that said, there is a path for the minister that is going to be lonely, if only because it is a path that is only wide enough for one person – YOU.  You won’t always be in this place, but there will be times, when you turn around only to find no one is there.  It’s not so much your friends have abandoned you, although that can happen.  No, it may feel like you’ve been deserted and left out in the wilderness to die, but that is rarely the truth.

Why would God allow this to happen?  Well, I’m not sure I know the answer to that one, but rest assured it is not the only time it has happened.  According to the scripture being defriended and left alone to die, has been experienced by Joseph, Daniel, Jeremiah, Micah, John the Baptist, Paul, just to name a few.  Not to mention when Christ, Himself, was on the cross during His darkest hour cried out, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?”

For the minister of God, this experience can be profound and cut deep.

God Doesn’t Want Wimps

For Father’s Day I received a book from one of my sons, “Lone Survivor”.  It is the true story of Navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, and his experience in Afghanistan in 2005.  The first half of the book deals with the training the Navy SEALS receive.  There is only one word to describe it – brutal.  In other words, wimps need not apply.  It is rigorous and difficult physically, spiritually, and mentally.  Why?  Because they are put into situations where the distance between life and death is so narrow that many times, even with their extensive training, they don’t make it.  But, the training prepares them and ensures they have the best chance of winning when faced with a fire-fight or life and death situation.

Is it possible God’s ministers endure many things because He wants to ensure you have the best chance of surviving and winning when faced with a desperate and wicked enemy?  God’s ministers must not only face the enemy’s attacks against themselves, but they are involved in combat when the enemy attacks their flock, too.  Desperate hand-to-hand combat with the enemy is not something to take lightly, and one must have the proper training if one expects to come out victorious.  How is this training achieved?  In many cases it is achieved through the things the minister goes through and experiences in their own lives.  Not because God wants to see them suffer, but because He wants them to WIN.  Not just WIN, but WIN BIG.

Now, let’s be perfectly clear.  This WIN we are talking about will not all take place on this side of heaven.  Some of the WIN will only become clear when we have crossed over.  So, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see all the results right now, and right in front of your eyes.  But, it will take place, just as sure as not one Word of God will fail.

So, my friend, whoever you are – don’t grow weary with well-doing, for in due season you will reap if you don’t faint.

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One Response to “Ministry – The Loneliest Profession”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    Such a great blog! I often think about how Jesus felt when His own disciples forsook Him. I think we have a tendency to forget what He felt but yet, He made it! When we feel alone we tend to think that we are the only one who feels this way. If the Lord made it, so can we because we know He is always with us regardless of what we feel! We just needed to be reminded of this! Thank you for doing that through this post! Blessings!

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