A Pilgrimage of Sorts: my failures and God’s faithfulness

Over the past three or four weeks, God has been convicting me much more heavily than usual, or perhaps I am simply noticing the greater convictions. As a result of my shortcomings before my Lord and before my family in the Lord, I am taking a few days to spend in introspection. That is, self-examination. I want to consider my own heart and mind prayerfully so that I might be where God wants me to be. The reason I record this is so that those who choose to read may know that I am not perfect and that I cannot be God to them. Only God can fill such a role. Secondly, I hope that what I record will inspire others to also take a mental pilgrimage through scripture in order that God would grow them as a child in the faith.

Throughout this pilgrimage I will consider various questions such as: “Why do I write? “, “Why do I do ministry?” and “Who am I willing to learn from?” These questions will all deal specifically with things that God has been convicting me about over the last few days and I share them with you, my readers and my brothers and sisters in Christ, so that you may help to keep me accountable and so that the pen I write with will not only serve to express thoughts but also to build up those who are in Christ alongside me. It is with a heavy heart that I reveal these things so that you and I both may know of God’s faithfulness towards us as His children.

I have never been to Europe to see the great Cathedrals of the Middle Ages or to Jerusalem to pray at the Wailing Wall. In fact, pilgrimage is such a foreign idea to me that I have been guilty of only ‘working’ and not spending adequate time in the arms of my Father. I became Martha: so busy serving Christ that I forgot He was here for me as well and He recently spoke to me as He did to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”[1] It seems in focusing purely on the work we need to do on this earth, we, many times, forsake our relationship with Christ when it is that relationship that enables us to first do the work.

Furthermore, my failure to spend time simply in the arms of the Father have resulted in my inability to live life and to be open with others about my life. No, I am not caught unwaveringly in some detrimental sin. I recently took a stress test provided by healthcentral.com and scored a 406. The “stress danger zone” began at a score of 300 and I was claimed, by the site, to be at a 90% risk for stress related illness. It seems as though I am literally a time bomb just waiting to go off and yet I fail to depend wholly on the only One who can manage that stress or provide the comfort necessary for that sort of alleviation. Before my wife and I moved to Wake Forest, I was in the habit of taking one day a week and just spending it with our Lord. When we moved, though, I was so concerned about providing and so concerned about getting connected so that I could do God’s work that I lost this habit and work that I might have done, even some of my credibility has suffered because of it. I am not worried, though. To worry would be to discount God’s sovereignty and to consider my own credibility to be more important than the credibility of God’s Word. This is not the case and I hope to reemphasize that I will always let people down when they trust in me to be perfect. That is something that God will never do.

Through all of this, I will not stop doing the work that God has called me to do. I have a feeling that the reason 80% of those who go into ministry stop doing ministry all together is impacted by the very conviction I am currently undergoing. It is no reason to cease my work, for no man is qualified to do God’s work in the slightest. Yet, He chooses to use us and my giving up would be a dishonor to what God has chosen to do. My commitment, then, is that I will spend time with just God as I did before (and perhaps much more time). I will reserve at least one day a week for specifically my savior. Then, I may be more ready to work the other six days. As my friends and my readers, you have been affected by my failures. I ask you to keep me accountable and to keep me in your prayers always as I will commit myself to praying for you.

 

In Christ,

Andrew


[1] Luke 10:41-42 HCSB

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