One of the images that has stayed with me in these past 3 years (nearly) of ministry in church is that of mountain climbing. Serving God through working in church has always reminded me of climbing up a steep, rocky mountain. And you know what? I’ve tried mountain climbing, albeit only on Kota Kinabalu, and I didn’t like it. In my eyes, it’s difficult, exhausting, cold, painful, and I don’t get to see the scenery enough for it to be worth it just for its own sake. Similarly, working in church is not something I enjoy so much that I would do it for its own sake. Maybe it’s not the done thing to hear a church worker say this – to say that if it were entirely up to me, I wouldn’t be here doing this. It is the truth, however.
But do you know the difference between mountain climbing and working in church? When you climb a mountain, it’s down to your own strength, training, perseverance, and motivation; it’s entirely dependent on you. But when you are working in church, relying on yourself is not enough. In fact, relying on yourself more than God is a recipe for burnout. And it is at that point when your own strength gives out, in your weakness, that we find God’s grace presenting itself as a miracle in front of us, God’s strength giving us the courage to take another step somehow, and God’s love overflowing even more for us to show His love to just one more person. God’s grace is indeed made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9) and is enough to carry us through in what He has called us to do (Phil 4:13). Wherever God has called us, God will bring us through.
And God’s grace means that He gives us encouragement and joys along the way He calls us to serve, wherever and however difficult it may be. The trudge up the grey stone slope may seem pointless and dreary, but God shows us beauty along the way. God sustains us enough to reach the next point of beauty ahead, giving us the next boost to continue. He knows what we need and when we need it, and He dispenses them so.
So don’t lose heart, my friends and my spiritual family. Following Christ, serving Him where God wants us to serve (wherever it may be and whatever it may look like) is not easy by any means. But God’s grace is enough and is more than enough. Look to Him, rely on Him, and He will carry you through.