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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Diminished God?

(no time for editing/spellcheck) - deal with it. ;)

I was thinking about ministry. In general.

The Sunday before I left to come to Zim, my pastor asked my husband and I to come up and share a bit about our missions calling with the congregation. First of all – yay – what a sweet opportunity. Secondly, I kinda bombed it.

Sure, I shared 2 minutes worth of vision and hope and excitedly got to share that sweet Marlena is returning with me. But! At one point Darren asked me what we (BFGO) mostly do when we are with the kids at the orphanage.

My stupid response: “mostly just ministry”. Okay I shared a couple of brief specifics, but I woke up the next day thinking…

…GAW! JUST ministry?

Seriously, couldn’t the Holy Spirit have inspired me to recognize that ministry isn’t just a little thing – like maybe not even worth mentioning?  I didn’t even mention the chicken project BECAUSE MY BRAIN WAS DEAD.

What is ministry if it isn’t everything?

When you encourage a child – it is ministry.
When you teach and love and discipline your children – it is ministry.
When you forgive your spouse for being aloof – it is ministry.
When you hand out programs at church with a precious smile on your face – guess what? Ministry.
When you wrap your arms around someone who count their life’s hugs on one hand – yep – ministry.

Just ministry is Just Jesus and He is All in All. I cannot even fathom that I reduced the work He shaped for me as some small thing. Such a reduction makes Him a tiny man on a tiny cross shedding just a tiny bit of blood.

How could I?

I’m an ambassador of Christ, a Christian soldier, a child of God and a co-missioner with Jesus. I am a carrier of the Holy Spirit and with that I have the power in me that God used to raise Christ from the grave. I am small and He is large – but His ministry is huge.

Do you feel small in your ministry? Well stop it. You may be small – but the ministry He gave you can never be less than all that He is.

I remember this as I sit and talk with Misheck and learn of all the ways he has heard Jesus in the past year and the ways that the Holy Spirit has managed to remove greed and replace it with an earnest desire to love his neighbor. Yes, sweet Lord!! These kids want to serve as much or more as they are being served in their great love for the God that created them in His image.

I remember this as I speak with Eric about his great love and appreciation for his sponsors – the people who write letters and pour love and life in his otherwise sometimes lonely heart.

I remember this as I read (with permission) the diary of one girl who was raped at approximately the age of 8 and her continued desire to rid her own life and body from this earth.

This ministry carried out by you and by me – it delivers hope and love and healing into the lives of the hurting. It feeds a hunger for a greater understanding of who God is to the hurting world at large. Jesus – you show up in our “just ministries”. Jesus is, in fact, the minister through His Holy Spirit. If we reduce this in our minds and heart – we reduce the power to nothing and we fail to leave a trail of love.

It’s catastrophic. The hurting world cannot afford for us to diminish the value of the ministries He gives us.

I pray that I never do this again.

I tell you – Zim is a learning place. It is a microscope that I personally need to see through. So much is revealed. The eyes of my heart open to greater wisdom and insight and my heart is leveled to a new place of humility. I could never thank Zimbabwe enough for her precious people, her reception to the gospel and to the warm hugs that minister to me in a great big huge way.

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