‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ‘
Hope everyone has had an awesome weekend and praying that this God Gold gives you a spark to start this upcoming week! I can’t even put into words how crazy, awesome, and beautiful God works things together in our lives. I’m going to do my best to explain what I mean by that and I hope you’ll be able to sit back, reflecting on how God has worked in this way in your own life.
So to give you some background, I’m taking classes in seminary and striving towards a calling to ministry that God randomly and unexpectedly laid on my life at 22 years old. Throughout the first year and a half or so, God opened up so many doors for me to serve in foreign missions, the local church, and many other different places along the way. I knew God wanted me to serve Him for the rest of my life and usually when going into ministry you would usually first assume that’s in a church, preaching, teaching and things of that nature. That’s all I thought ministry was, bringing God’s Word to people in some type of “position” with some type of “title.” Well, living in this view of “ministry,” I thought the only place I could serve or fulfill God’s calling on my life was in this way, preaching or teaching, in a church or in the mission field. After many awesome experiences getting to serve in a variety of different settings, the chance to preach came up. I had taught many different lessons to many different ages, but preaching, I had never done that. What I thought was the “pinnacle” of real “ministry,” God blessed me with the chance to preach at the church I grew up at to people who I loved so much, I barely remember anything besides walking on stage and walking back down. God did what He so often does that night and after this experience, I was on the mountain top of all mountain tops. I was on a literal high and thought, “this is it, no looking back now!”
Then, life took a turn….
For the next 6-8 months, I pursued ministry positions in youth and other areas, I was told time and time again I needed more experience but I didn’t see it that way. Being on this mountain top of bringing God’s Word from the pulpit, I had no plans of going anywhere but forward. As I continued to search and struggling with some control issues of trying to do things the way I thought they should be done, every door that I expected to be open at this point in my ministry life, had been slammed shut. It didn’t make sense to me how I could go from being so high and then crashing so so low. For those months of searching, every time I thought I saw a door opening up, I ended up finding it closed. I was confused and honestly mad at God. I was working any job I could find to get by and trying to go ahead of God and fix this “problem” I thought I had. Working on a farm picking produce, stocking shelves in a grocery store, and working a seasonal job at a home decor store which I knew nothing about. In each of those experiences, I spent more time trying everything I could to get out and back into the “ministry” God called me to do. I was pretty upset and I didn’t get it.
That is until today, I look back at that time and seeing what God was doing makes more sense than ever now! As mad as I had gotten during that time, it was obvious to see how God was working things together for my good. I was in need of experience, a chance to get discipled and poured into by those in ministry that had gone before me. I needed to be taught and I needed to learn. And as my hunger to get back in the some type of ministry position was because I thought that was the only place ministry was. I spent so much time hating those jobs because it wasn’t where I thought I should be or where I deserved to be, (yeah I was prideful coming off that mountaintop.) But through that time God humbled me A LOT. He brought me extremely low and taught me the most valuable lesson I’ve ever learned. Ministry isn’t a position or a title, it’s wherever you’re at with whatever people God has placed around you. As I started to see this, I finally started to see a glimpse of what God was showing me, even though I still wasn’t the biggest fan. I learned to invest and be intentional with each person God had placed in my path at those jobs and I watched God continually bring fruit from the seeds planted there. Whether I wanted to be there or not, it’s where God wanted me and He placed me around people that I learned so much from, people who needed to hear of the Good News that changed my own life.
I didn’t want to be there but God in His grace was teaching me that ministry is EVERYWHERE because He is everywhere! He taught me the broader and true view of what ministry and what serving Him really looked like. Then, when I finally stopped trying to control my life and fix my problem, God began opening up doors in my life. He opened up a door to learn, be mentored, get valuable ministry experience at a church that couldn’t have been a better fit around a mentor that couldn’t be a better guy to learn from. This week is my third week in the internship and I was given the privilege of teaching at a Wednesday night to the youth group there. That’s when it all came full circle, I thought teaching and preaching was all there was to ministry and then God had gotten me so used to the broader view of ministry in the workplace of every day life, when I heard this news of getting to teach again, it was different. If I would have been asked 8 months ago I would have lost my mind but now I’m excited but I also know that this isn’t it. Building relationships with others, loving and serving people in anyway I can, that’s just as much “ministry” as delivering a message to a group of people. I was also a lot more thankful for this long awaited opportunity. After not teaching or preaching in any kind of way for these months, I sit in this open door and the view is different, actually much more pure and better than it used to be. My pride of course will always be an issue with my humanity but I am a whole lot more humbled than I used to be. WHY? Because God brought me low during a time to show me how much better it is to stand on the mountain top not just alongside Him but being carried there in His arms, below Him.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been through seasons of life where you are just confused and even mad at where God has placed you and what God has you doing. I’m here to tell you today, that whatever you’re going through that seems so “bad” it’s actually God working things out for your good. If you don’t believe me, just wait you’ll see!!! God is always working things together in our lives for our good, no matter how we see them as good or bad, it’s all good when we see it through God’s eyes. It’s a process, a test, a challenge, a time of being completely broken down, reshaped and put back together, coming out with a deeper love for God and stronger dependence on Him in our lives. What we see as “bad” is just God working good together, it may not seem like it but just embrace where God has placed you right now, serve the people He’s placed around you, while you are searching desperately for an open door, the door God has opened for you and wants you to walk through could be right in front of you. You’ll never know until you open it up to find out! God is in control and He is taking every piece of your life in every moment and working it for the good of those who love Him and were called according to His glorious purpose! What’s really cool is when you realize that you’re already on the mountain top because every moment spent with God is a mountain top experience and God is in every moment with you!
God is good, all the time! And all the time, God is good!!!