Over the 12 plus years I have been serving in ministry I have been amazed by many different peoples generosity. This Sunday was one I really needed. You see this past weekend I was sick. I mean dog tired sick. I have run my body ragged between a trip to Disney, VBS, Hosting a day camp and strategic planning. My body has literally been saying to me “Steve just STOP IT or else”. I was sick all weekend and Sunday morning I just wanted to lay in bed. I had been literally coughing all night and hadn’t slept except for about 2 hours from 8 AM-10 AM. I was miserable when I walked into St. John but I was there to help lead the service. In all honesty I should have stayed home, but God had another plan.
To open the service I made a few announcements. The most important one to me was a need we had for donations for a couple of our students who needed help to be able to attend the mission trip this summer. Throughout the service Jesus gave me the voice and allowed me to avoid coughing uncontrollable during the prayers and other parts I had to lead. It was truly a miracle that I made it through the service. Praise God He is faithful to me and got me to the other side so I could see His great goodness. I am so glad I was there because I got to see Jesus move.
At the end of the service I had three people I come forward and ask what they could do to help. One even wrote a check for the amount we needed for two of the students. I was amazed. I know I shouldn’t have been amazed but God brought those people forward to help reach a need for our young people. I should never be surprised by the generosity of Gods people for His mission. I am so glad Jesus brought me to that moment. I got to see Him work.
Today as you may be feeling down, or tired, or broken be reminded that Jesus is continuing to work in the lives of His people. He is working to bring about His good and we are blessed often when we can see it. My prayer for you today is that you see Jesus work his miracles working in your lives.
This past weekend I was asked to speak the message at a former student’s wedding. It was truly an honor to be a part of her, and her husband’s special day. It really made me think about all the students God has lead across my path over the last almost 12 years. It has made me think about what I love most about being in ministry. I love walking alongside people. I get the greatest joy of walking along side people and sharing Jesus with them. Sometimes with great joy and sometimes with great sadness. Most of the time it is both.
Speaking at Emily’s wedding reminded me of the messiness of walking with people. You see at Emily’s wedding it rained during the whole outside wedding ceremony. I am not talking about that kind of rain that just gets you wet but the kind that leaves you drenched. My suit was dripping and I couldn’t see for part of the message because water was just running down my face. I was reminded that walking with students isn’t always easy. It can be quite messy. You know when it is all said and done it is quite rewarding. You get to see two people join as one to follow Jesus together. You get to see lives changed and you get to laugh at the craziness of life and enjoy the moments for what they are. Moments where Jesus can bring joy in the midst of hardships. It did make it much easier to talk with them about being children of God through baptism because I had such a great object lesson.
This weekend also marked another tough moment in ministry. A student who I met a few times and is friends with some of the students I know well, ended his life. It was a tough way to end a weekend. I also thought is was emblematic of ministry. God lets us walk with students in the good times and we also have to walk through the tough stuff as well. I am reminded that Jesus calls us to walk in the lows and the highs, in the sorrow and joys but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will have another post later about this week with students and about this young man. So as I end I would ask for prayers first for the couple who is starting a new life and second for the family grieving today. Ministry is tough and walking with families isn’t always easy but Jesus reminds us of his unfailing love through all of it.
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance
Ecclesiastes 3:4 ESV