It was been one wonderfully crazy week for me. If this week was a story the unfolding events of this week would definitely be building to the climax of the story. I am reminded of the blessedness of ministry related weariness. It is something that all followers of Jesus should be familiar with regularly. The Bible reminds us that genuine ministry while being a blessing does wear us down.
One of the best examples is found in the life of Jesus Himself. We read this in the Gospel of John that is leading up to His ministry with the woman at the well. “Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.” (John 4:6) There are many example of Jesus’ weariness from ministry, like the time he fell asleep in the back of the boat during a storm that had His experienced fishermen disciples fretting for their lives. This account in John was the result of continuous ministry. Jesus’ weariness finally caught up with Him at the end of a day of travel across hot arid terrain. His stop at the well to rest was God’s opportunity to minister to an ostracized people group. What stands out to me is that weariness was a part of ministry.
I do confess that as I set here typing I do feel a little weary. The last two weeks have been a culmination of number of different activities requiring almost non-stop attention. The majority of these activities are all related to the installation of our new Worship building. It began with the delivery of the building and soon gave way to all the tasks required to make the building usable. It involved tasks to be coordinate, errands to be run, and yes even problems to be solved. There have even been a few very minor crisis’. Yet, my heart is rejoicing over what the Lord is doing through our congregation. Yes, I feel blessed. I wouldn’t change that last week for anything (I might be tempted with a week in Cabo celebrating my anniversary with my wife).
It is sad when followers of Jesus misunderstand the part of weariness in ministry. If you find yourself feeling weary at times you are in good company. Jesus is not the only one that grew weary. The Apostle Paul also reminds us of the draining effect of serving Jesus. He writes to the church in Colossae, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:28–29) The first of these two verses is Paul’s statement on the focus of his ministry. He identifies preaching, counseling and teaching. It is this that second verse that he reminds us that the toil of ministry is when Christ’s power is released in us. Take a moment to ponder that,
Paul also instructed the church in Galatia, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) He warns against allowing the difficulty of ministry to distract us from being a part of the harvest.
Let me encourage each of us to not only be faithful in ministry but also to the responsibilities of life. Jesus was weary from travel, but it would open a door to lost village of Samaritans. Your responsibilities as a parent may be overwhelming. Just remember that you are working for a spiritual harvest in the life of your children. Maybe for others it is the weariness of the job. Yet, you never know what God is doing in the lives around you. I do not know your situation but let us embrace that weariness as part of being a faithful follower of Jesus. Make sure you pace yourself, life with Jesus is a marathon not a sprint. Be sure to get your rest, eat good food and spend time with the Lord!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson