|this guy’s expression basically sums up how I feel
I realize that even in struggling I am not being obedient, but this is my life and while living and breathing I am a sinner. The struggle I face lately is one I have met many times, unfortunately. And even as I write this I am hesitant to admit it in such an open setting. But, in an effort to be open and share my life I am here writing about it.
First, I suppose I should say a little bit more about what I feel called to do, and why I have chosen to share on a blog. I feel called to do ministry by sharing my life and the struggles I face. This means stepping so far beyond my comfort zone and natural personality that it is more like a blind, terrified leap I take with eyes squeezed so tightly shut I start to get a headache. That leap? Sharing my life. Openly, sharing my life. Not natural. Not a family trait. Not even really sure how to do that appropriately and effectively. There are a million thoughts screaming through my head of doubt, insecurity, fear, and everything else negative one can think of. But yet, I feel called. And to disobey would be the worst sin and regret I could imagine.
I believe that God has a plan for my life. I believe that it is a wonderful plan, far greater and bigger than I can imagine. And since I consider myself creative and a big dreamer, I am excited and curious to see what God has in store for me. I realize however, to do that I must obey and take the chances of faith that He requires of me. It’s not that I don’t get the logical side of it. Because, after all, what can be better than standing on the other side of something amazing knowing that the only way you got there was because GOD did it. That is the feeling I crave. That is the adventure I desire.
Ok, back to my struggle…
It is with the church.
This time, not necessarily with the members of the church, although believe me I have had more than my share of struggles with them, this time it is with the staff of the church. The paid, called workers of the church who have dedicated their lives to serving God. I write this to remind myself that these are special people, people who love God and are trying their best. But yet, sin creeps in and destroys ministry. It always does. After all, what higher goal can Satan have than to destroy the work of those who love God and that of the Church, the Lord’s beloved.
My problem is that my heart gets involved. Then I struggle with hurt feelings, disappointment and the desire to see right in the face of oppression. I am aware of the oppression the church sometimes commits. I have experienced it more than once in my life. But every time it hurts more than I am prepared to deal with. Every time I am left in despair. Every time I am left with guilt.
Guilt? When I have don’t nothing wrong, but have been taken advantage of, oppressed and wronged by someone else…I feel guilt? Yup.
Guilt because I have awful feelings of anger and bitterness. Bad enough in itself, but then when it is directed at the Church. The bride of Christ, the Love of the LORD. How can I feel something so wretched. And what am I supposed to do with it?
This I cry out to the Lord.
I am thankful, and confident that He hears. And He will answer. In His time, as always. Thankfully, I have been in this position before and I KNOW HE ANSWERS. It’s just a matter of waiting for that answer.
Now, to the other question. As a Christian, as a Pastor, am I supposed to share these feelings? Is it wrong to share this?
I know there are others who feel this way. Other Pastors even. But are we supposed to share this?
My biggest fear is that this may turn someone from God. But my hope is that sharing this would let others know that
1.) The church is not nor ever will be perfect.
2.) There are Christians, even Pastors who struggle with the church and the members of the church.
3.) That God is bigger than the Church.
4.) That God does not = Church
5.) That God loves ME ALWAYS! No matter my feelings towards His Bride.
6.) That God has a plan and will work this out for GOOD, no matter how impossible that may seem.
(Thank GOD His imagination is Bigger than mine!)
|my absolute favorite church, Pasadena, Ca
|peace…Forest Home, Ca