“I wish I had your job. You get to travel, meet new people, teach the Word.”

No doubt I love my job. I don’t like being in airports so much – packing, unpacking, praying over baggage conveyor belts (please, Lord, let my luggage come out of the chute). Meeting new people is a hardship for me, as is sleeping in hotel rooms without my family close by and getting far too little sleep. But other than that…

I speak at a lot of women’s retreats. For those who attend, (hopefully) it is a time of physical relaxation and spiritual regeneration. For me, it’s a lot of fun mixed with a boatload of work. Ministry can be a taxing occupation and calling. But when you’re called, you’re called. Not doing what God has required of you is more difficult than the labor.

Here’s another line I hear quite often: “Singing praise music all weekend and then being in the Word… I bet you come home super-charged for Jesus!”

Sometimes. What most people don’t realize is all the work that goes on behind the scenes – the last minute technical problems… the last minute instructions from the Spirit that send me spinning in a new direction… the inner prayer that searches the deepest part of God in order to bring Him to the hearts of others.

What keeps me going at times is the knowledge that I’m not alone. Even the Son of God met with problems in His ministry; problems that left Him world-weary and exhausted.

Are You or Aren’t You?

It was the Feast of Dedication — Hanukkah — around 29 AD. Jesus was in Jerusalem for the celebration. The other Jews who were there surrounded Him, asking Him if He was, indeed, the One they had waited for, the One promised to them, the Messiah, the Son of God.

“Just tell us plainly,” they demanded.

Jesus reminded them that He had told them plainly. The problem was they didn’t believe. They didn’t “get it.” Sure, they’d seen His miracles and they’d heard Him say it was all done in the name of His Father. “But you do not believe because you are not my sheep,” He told them.[1]

It must have been difficult to say. “I know my sheep… they follow me… I give them eternal life… no one can snatch them from my hand… I and the Father are one.”[2]

The people were furious and attempted to stone Him. Again.

Jesus stood His ground. “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”[3]