A Profound Sense of Gratitude
Each time I think of you, I experience a profound sense of gratitude. Your determination to honor the Lord keeps me going in my own call to serve Missio Dei Church. Ministry is an amazing call, full of great joys and significant moments in people’s lives: officiating weddings, presiding over funerals, seeing first-hand how lives are changed for Christ. But it’s also full of tension: intense conflict, unrealistic expectations, relational strain, and, at times, soul-aching loneliness.
When pastoral hours are long, when the emotional toll is great, when the gratitude is meager, I am sure – if you are anything like me - there may have been moments of doubting your vocational call, especially in light of the sacrifices. Yet, you have modeled a life invested in God’s kingdom, a life that takes seriously Jesus’s promise: “… everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29, ESV) Brother, thank you for heeding God’s call, whatever the cost.
But, I know from my own experience that the challenges of the past few months have been greater than I have ever faced in my years of ministry. I assume we are in the same boat, right? Well, thank you for sticking with it.
- Thank you for thinking the best of your congregation rather than the worst.
- Thank you for faithfully giving of yourself even when times are difficult and uncertain.
- Thank you for the way you care for your congregation when you learn of a need.
- Thank you for stepping up to the plate and figuring out technology to serve your people.
- Thank you for being constantly flexible when state mandates constantly change.
- Thank you for your faithfulness to the Word even in the unprecedented craziness of the world.
You’ve probably preached numerous sermons encouraging others to remember that God is with them even in times of trouble. Now is the time to practice what you preach. Do not lose heart. Jesus promises to care for you and give you rest. Hear afresh this promise from God’s Word: ““… they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV)
Brother, I see you, and thank you! Keep fighting the good fight of the faith.
Your grateful friend and fellow pastor,