Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Are You Ready for This?

Last night Mike received a couple of texts from people asking for prayer. Thankfully we didn't have any plans and received the texts at the time they were sent, so we were able to stop and pray right then for our friends.

My sweet husband asked me the question, "Are you ready for this?" to which I responded "Ready or not..."  :)

But I have been thinking about that question a lot today. Am I ready for this? Because last night was no big deal- just a few simple requests for prayer. Looking ahead to our lives in ministry, those texts will inevitably turn into phone calls and requests to meet and talk in person. Possibly in the middle of the night. Possibly in the middle of something we have planned. Am I ready to stop what I am doing for the sake of others? Am I ready to give up what I know will become a coveted evening with my husband so that someone else's needs can be met?

My honest prayer right now is "I hope so."

Because the likelihood of these sacrifices will certainly increase as we step forward into planting and leading a church. It is just part of the demands of ministry. But the question that the Spirit keeps bringing to mind is this: "How much of this will be because you are in ministry? Shouldn't you be ready for "this"...as a pastor's wife or not?"

Ready to drop everything to pray for someone. Ready to stop what I am doing for the sake of others. Ready to give up my plans so that someone else's needs can be met. Shouldn't we be a part of a community of faith that operates this way on a regular basis? So it's not solely the responsibility of the pastor and his wife, but rather the responsibility of an entire community of believers who desire to love God and the people around them.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm certainly not trying to shift responsibility or somehow get out of what my part will be as a pastor's wife. I answered the Lord's calling and made the decision to become a church planter and pastor's wife, knowing that this was part of the deal. So while there are certainly a unique set of expectations for that role, should those expectations be that much different from the calling to be a faithful and obedient Christ-follower? The calling to sacrificially love the people the Lord has placed in my life?
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." ~Philippians 2:3-8 

I will be honest and say that there is a part of me that fears this part of ministry. Mostly because I know it will not always be easy to do. I won't always feel loving or sacrificial or selfless. But the reality is that this idea shouldn't be that foreign or new to me. I should be more than ready for this kind of sacrificial and selfless life, simply because I call myself a Christ-follower. It really is a matter of dying to myself daily.

I love the part of the verse in Philippians that says that we should have this mind, "which is ours in Christ Jesus." I don't have to somehow muster the strength to be selfless on my own. Because left on my own, I am pretty selfish. But I can be ready for this life because of Jesus. It's certainly a challenge, one I will be working on every day.


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