A Storm of Mixed Emotions


Clouds in sky

Today I perused a number of church websites, something I do often. I enjoy seeing what churches around the world are doing and how their websites communicate who they are or who they think they are. Some are good, eye-catching, and inviting. Others are out-dated, confusing, or exclusive.

So today, I happened upon a well-known church with a large staff. As I scrolled through the staff photos and ministry descriptions a little cloud passed over my heart for a moment. I stopped and pondered the cloud. Why do I feel this way? What caused the shadow over my heart?

You have to know, I was reading the ministry description of which I’d shared in the past. No, I didn’t share the job with the guy I was reading about, but I held a similar position at a different church at one point.

Sometimes I feel as though I failed miserably doing that exact same job. I felt that I had everything to succeed in that role, but it just never gelled. Did others see me as a failure in that role, I wonder? Why didn’t it work? Did reality prove me inadequate at what I was too blind to see about myself? Maybe what I chalked up to a matter of timing was really a matter of talent, or lack thereof. Why did the guy in the picture seem so happy about what he was doing, and obviously enjoyed it enough to keep doing for so long as the description said, and the same wasn’t true for me?

These were the kinds of thoughts that, as I sat there dissecting the cloud, seemed to be raining down on my spirit.

And yet, as the light of Truth dispelled the darkness, a rainbow of grace began to blow the gray away and settled upon me instead.

The truth: I believe the mission was accomplished. In serving in that capacity, I served the best I knew how, the best I could. I still have a great capacity to serve in a like manner, but indeed, time revealed a number of things I couldn’t have known or anticipated at the start. I trusted God through the entire process of ministry, and God developed me and those around me in mighty ways–some of which probably remain a mystery and will for some time. I truly did enjoy what I was doing, and I should not forget the joy of the service and the wonderful challenges that took place to strengthen, stretch, and reveal me more than I could’ve imagined.

And one of the greatest truths that I hang onto–everything has a season. EVERYTHING. Some seasons are longer than others, and just because my season was short doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful.

What is success anyway?

In my mind, being obedient to God and growing in relationship with Him is the ultimate successful venture. According to that criteria, that short venture was WILDLY successful.

I was successful. I am loved. Only God really knows. I can bask in the colorful warmth of his grace.

So, with my heart warmed by His reassurance, I said a prayer for the young man in a role I understand. That season for me, for now, is over, but not for the man smiling at me from my computer screen. I pray all the best of him in serving God’s people and in his journey to knowing the Savior more.

The lesson for me today: I would’ve missed the beauty of God’s grace and truth had I not stopped to evaluate the little cloud that paused over my soul.

The challenge I pose to you: The next time a cloud threatens to darken your day, stop and dissect it. Let the mercy of God’s grace and truth rain over you.


One Response to “A Storm of Mixed Emotions”
  1. Kristin says:

    Beautiful thoughts. I think if you look hard enough you can find inspiration in everything!!

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