I slept outside recently, in a box made to hold a new appliance. Why? Good question. I’m not sure I’ve ever done something I’ve looked forward to less. I know the reasons my box dwelling neighbors were out there, because they told me. Great stories of “making a difference” or “It’s the least I can do to shed light on the problem of homelessness.” Valiant reasons. Sacrificial. Others first. Me? I hated it. Even though I classify myself as a duck hunter and have clothes made for such conditions, I was so very, very cold. It took me most of the next day to warm up.
The dread before the event was awful. I mentally went to places that physically hurt. But, in the end, I did it, and I’m glad to say that I did. What did I accomplish? My friends helped me raise a little money for our local homeless ministry, but more importantly, I got to witness, even if for only 12 hours, what some people go through many days of their lives. Would I do it again? Hmmm….
There are times in ministry we do things we don’t like. We feel called, but we don’t feel comfortable. We feel compelled to do things that take us way beyond our comfort zone. At 3 am, with the screams of an obviously “effected” woman having a confrontation with a police officer, I wanted to be HOME. But, I stayed. And, I’m glad I stayed.
When Jesus fasted for 40 days, I’m sure He faced dread, pain, and physical regret, but that didn’t stop Him. He did it. I’m one who thinks of Jesus as Fully God and Fully Man, so He suffered like I would suffer if I went that long without food. I don’t know for sure, but I think there are many things He did that He didn’t want to do. I would go as far to say He even dreaded certain things He knew He had to do. Not many of us can say we sweat drops of blood.
When you feel called to something, don’t expect your next sensation to be joy or peace or comfort. Confirmation to a calling can equal a short season of dread. God is not afraid of you asking Him, “Really? You want me to do…”
In John 16:3, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I’m pretty confident, once you do that thing He is calling you to do, you will be grateful you did it.
CMB Board Member & Gold Member