Sunday, August 28, 2016
I Can't Quit (A Morning Prayer)
Thank You for another day. As I prepare to go before Your people to share Your word, I pray that I go with Your strength and receive Your approval,
Father, it's amazing how I can look back over my life and see how You have been preparing me all of these years for where I am right now. I can see more clearly now the lessons You were teaching in what at first just seemed like regular life experiences. For example, I was thinking back to when I was in the 7th grade, and I decided to try out for our middle school football team. The only football I had played was backyard ball, and I certainly was not built for it at the time. My skinny frame was barely big enough to hold up the helmet and pads. But I wanted to be on the football team because many of my friends were trying out, and thought it would be fun to stay after school to hangout with them.
Well Lord, it didn't take long for my loosely held interest in playing football to unwind. Within the first week I got laughed at because my pads kept bouncing around on my narrow shoulders every time I ran; I got yelled at by the coach for sitting on my helmet; I almost passed out from getting too hot; I got stung by a bee on my stomach while doing up-downs; and I got creamed by the biggest 8th grader in the history of 8th grade while doing practice drills. And that Lord, was more than enough for me.
So, at the end of the week, I quit. I didn't do any dramatic exit; didn't make some grand speech and storm off the field. No, I just didn't go back to practice. And in the days that followed, I sort of felt bad because I didn't...feel bad. I thought it should have bothered me more that I didn't stick with it, or maybe I should feel some shame for being a quitter, or something. But I didn't. I realize now that it didn't bother me that I gave up on football, because I know that I wasn't made for football, and I really didn't care about it that much about it.
Lord, there have been other things I have thought about quitting to. I have to be honest with You, so I honestly admit that I have at times thought about quitting ministry. There are times that it gets so hard. Sometimes the challenge of balancing ministry and work is just too much. Sometimes it seems like it's not making a difference. Sometimes it feels like quitting is not only the easy option, but it feels like the only option. But, I realize that there is a difference between ministry and 7th grade football. Unlike football, I do have an interest in ministry. And not only do I have an interest in ministry, I know that I was made for ministry. There are a few gifts You have poured into me and countless life experiences You have shared with me, all to prepare me for..ministry.
You ordered my steps not to get me ready for success in the corporate world, not to become a celebrity, not to become great in any other field. I know that ministry is what You trained me and called me to do. And I know if I were doing anything else, I would be outside of Your will, and that's not where I want to be.
So Lord, no matter how I feel right now or how I might feel in the future, I won't give up. No matter what people say or do, I serve You. It didn't work out for me to become a football star, but that's ok. I belong to You, and what You say, I will do. I will follow Jesus as my example and heed the words of Hebrews 12:2 which says "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.". I know that You will finish what You started, and what You started in me You started a long time ago.
Lord, You're worth it all so I'll give it all, and its all because I love You. In Jesus name. Amen.