Having Clarity During Strenuous Ministry

Consider this quote, “The eagle that soars in the upper air does not worry itself how it is to cross rivers.”

Gladys Aylward, an English missionary to China, had a remarkable insight that she shared through that brief illustration. It brings our thoughts to Isaiah 40:31 where the prophet shows us the pathway to not fainting nor growing weary. Isaiah explores the strength we find by having hope in the Lord.

Here is how these two thoughts come together for me this day. Yesterday was the first day in a very long time that I made the time to relax without focus on the many tasks which are screaming for my attention. As a result, I awoke early today with more of a perk in my step and clarity in my mind. Then it hit me! Okay, I wasn’t literally hit, and it wasn’t a bad sort of hit. It was a good realization that Gladys’ statement above really made sense. With all of the hustle and bustle and busyness over these past months, I had physically and mentally stretched myself a little too far. The result was that I was concerning myself with how to cross rivers though, in reality, I was soaring far above them.

Are you doing the same? Are you worrying yourself of how to cross rivers though you are soaring far above them? I’m sure that your hope is in the Lord; therefore, His promise of strength is active within you! His guarantee of guidance is working in your spirit. But, maybe you need to physically be refreshed as well in order for you to hear, see, and understand more clearly.

What’s that I hear you saying? “But Pastor Gary, you just do not get it. There are so many things that need to be done and no one else is here to do them. I do not have a single spare moment to rest.”

Yes, I do understand. I have been saying the same thing for months now, myself. The responsibilities for ministry through Children’s Ministry Today combined with the needs that present themselves at the church I am pastoring quickly require no less than 90 hours per week.

Here is what I did. I prayed, “Dear Lord, You know the willingness and obedience of my heart. You know how I long to do everything pleasing in Your sight. You also completely see the many tasks at hand and all of the different directions my attention is being pulled. Dear God, I need some rest. As I read scripture today, I hear Jesus saying to me, His disciple, “Come and rest.” Lord, I am asking You to help me discover a time when I can be refreshed. Open the door for me to rest and be refreshed to more effectively and effectually minister for You and be the person You have created me to be.”

He Did It! Now, He will do it for you as well! What will it profit you to gain the whole world, yet lose your own soul? You are important to Your Heavenly Father. You need to be strong physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and socially! And, strength not only comes through diligently working, it also comes through rest! It comes through a steadfast hope in the Lord. It is the power of a hope that realizes that God will take complete care of things while you are refreshed.

Gary R. Linn

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