It’s very possible that a pastor’s wife struggles with inflexibility just as much as the next person.
And just when it seems like she might be making progress…
This morning, Jeremy and I were discussing our anniversary getaway plans for next week when he reminded me about a particular ministry situation that could very well change our schedule.
Go ahead and make the reservations,
but we might have to cancel
For a split second, I felt the spirit of Big Old Spoiled Rotten Cry Baby well up inside.
Why does this ALWAYS happen?
We can never plan to go anywhere without the possibility of our plans having to change at a moment’s notice! Why, why, why? Waaaaaaaaah!
I quickly reigned in my runaway thoughts and thanked Jeremy for the reminder.
It’s true: we’ve missed weddings, postponed trips, gone home early from vacations, and molded a lot of our family life around ministry needs.
Always so many needs.
But isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?
Yes, that’s why we’re here. But sometimes, in the midst of real life, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
It reminds me of the physician who drops everything at a moment’s notice to rush to the hospital and perform an emergency surgery.
He may have had other plans for the day, but he is trained to save lives. He lives ready to fulfill his commitment to serve the immediate needs of others.
Jesus Christ is the great physician, but a pastor is His hands and feet.
His mouth piece. His heart.
He must stand ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice to rush to the side of a needy member of His body.
He may have had other plans for the day, but he is trained to save souls. He lives ready to fulfill his commitment to serve the immediate needs of others.
Since I am a pastor’s wife, that means I signed up for the job too.
Often what we view as an interruption is nothing less than God’s will unfolding in our other-wise planned day. Sometimes, to let us reach out to someone in need; other times, to teach us a thing or two about letting God be God.
Even in the small things, like anniversary dates and family vacations.
Emily Judson, wife of America’s first foreign missionary, Adoniram Judson, wrote home from Burma in January 1847:
“This taking care of teething babies, and teaching natives, and talking English back end foremost is really a very odd sort of business… But I begin to get reconciled to my minute cares.
“I am ambitious for higher and better things, but the person who would do great things well must practice daily on little ones…“
Many years ago, when James O. Fraser was working as a solitary missionary in Tengyueh, southwest China, his situation was, “In every sense, against the grain.”
He did not enjoy housekeeping and looking after the grounds.
He found the houseboy irritable and touchy, constantly quarreling with the cook.
Endless small items of business cluttered up the time he wanted for language study, and he was having to learn to be “perpetually inconvenienced” for the sake of the gospel.
“Just as you are nearly finishing- somebody comes along to sit with you and have a chat!
“You might hardly think it possible to be impatient and put out where there is such an opportunity for presenting the Gospel- but it is…”
taken from Keep A Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot, page 139-140
Right now, I’m not sure about our anniversary getaway next week.
I could sit here and worry about it and pout.
I could whine and discourage my husband while he is busy trying to minister to his flock.
Or I can remind myself that, whatever happens, it’s all going to work out. Maybe not exactly like I hoped, but it’s going to be just fine.
I’m not in control of my life anyway.
He is. God is.
I don’t believe that He allows interruptions and delays by accident.
Each needy soul is my sister or brother in Christ.
Every grief or disappointment or loss touches His heart, and it should touch mine, too.
The interruptions and inconveniences in my life force me once again to climb onto the Potter’s wheel; yet another opportunity to yield to the gentle touch of His sanctifying hand.
And, amazingly, to be His hands extended to the hurting.
How can I say no to that?
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”Matthew 10:37-39