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21 November

Dodging Pity Puddles


"Not yet, no one is here."

"Five minutes."

"I hope so. This was a crazy week and as you know, it took all I had in me to prepare. I sure do hope someone shows up."

"Thanks honey, I will call on my way home . . . it could be sooner than later."

Ever been there? You've had a busy week and it took all you could do to prepare for a meeting, Bible study, or get-together and then either no one shows up, or just a few.

I have, obviously, and it was just a few weeks ago. As I sat in a chair looking out the window waiting for at least one car to pull up I felt it—that familiar tap on my heart when the Lord needs to get my attention. I knew my attitude was not good when I was on the phone with my husband, but at the moment I felt I had good reason to feel as I did.

As the minutes ticked, God took this time as a teaching moment. You know, the moments you take with your children or grandchildren when they are doing something wrong or inappropriate and you guide them. Well, that was where I was. He had my full attention and was going to teach me something right then.

In those minutes He gently reminded me that this wasn’t about me. I know, in ministry we are well aware that we signed up for “it’s not about me,” but sometimes we get tired and we fall into a pity puddle and forget. Yes, I said pity puddle, instead of party. Puddles are stinking and stagnating, and that was about my attitude at the moment.

But our Heavenly Father is so gracious and if we will give Him our attention for those teaching moments, He will not only guide us, but prepare us and give us the energy for the work He has called us to, as well as pour over us His peace.

In those quiet moments of waiting He reminded me that this was His work and the dear ones I was waiting on, they were His also. He didn’t prompt me to teach this particular Bible Study for the numbers so that my worth could be validated. No, He prompted me to teach for many reasons; to use the gifts He had given me, to begin to grow our new women’s ministry, to bring together these ladies for instruction and fellowship. If only one came, then my preparation was for her. It wasn’t about my performance or their attendance but about obedience.

While in the midst of ministry I think we can stumble and fall face first into a pity puddle. But again, our Heavenly Father is full of grace and love. He will always give us what we need when He has asked us to serve Him. Our part is to be obedient and keep our eyes focused on Him, then it doesn’t matter the outcome.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good word in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ,” (Phil 1:6 ESV).

About the Author:

The hats I wear are many but with each one brings an opportunity to share heart, humor, and hope. My day job is with a ministry in Greenville, SC but my other hours I fill with writing, speaking, teaching Bible Studies, leading our women's ministry, designing landscape/gardens, rowing at Greenville Indoor Rowing and answering to Beth, mama, and grandmommy. Serving alongside my husband, who is a pastor, for over twenty years, I can say without a doubt that as difficult as it is at times, it's also a great honor. They say that with age comes wisdom, I'm not sure about the wisdom part, but I do know that with age comes the realization that no matter what I go through God is always there with His overwhelming love and grace. 

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