Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I've come to terms with the fact that there will be hurt in life. But just because you know it's coming doesn't make it any easier when it hits! I've had shin splints, fights with friends, disappointment with people that have caused hurt. But truth be told, my life hasn't involved a lot of pain. Being in "the ministry" full-time seems as though you might fly through life with a hymn on your lips, bible in hand and casserole in the oven. Unfortunately, it's messier than that (and no, I'm not referring to my casseroles).

Some ministry friends of ours are going through times of great hurt in their church. Ours may not be so blatant but nonetheless when you have poured your lives into a church for over a decade it is difficult to not take it personally. There are people choosing to walk away from Christ and the church altogether. There are people choosing other bigger, better, fancier, more dramatic churches. Sometimes I want to play tough and pretend I don't care, but I do.

My hurt is not so much (anymore at least) feeling bad that there will be more empty spots in church. It's truly because God has given me a love for the people He's brought into our lives. I want them to have the joy that can only be found in Him and the hope of eternal life. But all I can do is tell them about it, I can't make them choose it. Only God can.

There are parents I know that hurt over their childrens' choices and yearn for them to return. Many hurt over their childrens' physical ailments and deficiencies. Some hurt over what could have been or what may come. Some may hurt over their mistakes and failures as parents.

Maybe hurt is good thing in that it shows me the depth of my love. It helps me identify with Christ. It's not a good thing if it makes me vengeful, depressed or fall away from what God wants me to do - then I'm the one walking away!

I think now I might have a little glimpse into how Jesus felt when people He loved enough to die for rejected Him. Hurt. Sad. His sadness proves his great love. He wants people to come to Him and be saved. 2 Peter 3:9 says,

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
As His followers, we are promised suffering and persecution just like He faced!

Luke 17:25
But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

1 Peter 2:4
As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him -

John 15:20
Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

2 Titus 3:12
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
So what do I do with hurt? I can rejoice in being identified with Christ. He was persecuted, rejected, and suffered the greatest hurt on this earth. But He stayed on message. He stayed on course. He loved deeply. If He didn't, he would not have endured the cross for me.

I can't let the hurt in my life or ministry harden me. I need to bring it back to the One who knows firsthand how it feels. I can find solace, rest and courage in His arms. Wherever he leads, I've got to continue to love.

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