For a long time, I struggled with not feeling like what I was doing with my life mattered; with feeling like I wasn’t making a difference in this world that so desperately needs the love and kindness of Jesus. I had it in my head that in order to be used by God in such a capacity, I had to be walking in my calling, and in order to walk in my specific calling, I had to be involved with a ministry. So, I held on tight to the glimpses that the Lord had shown me and waited, praying for the time to come when I would be ready to walk them out. It's definitely caused some frustration over the last few years, and lately, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering whether or not what I’m doing now means anything. But over the last few days, God has graciously been working on shifting my perspective, allowing me to see things with new, clearer eyes, giving me beautiful glimpses into what it looks like and means to truly do ministry with one another.
Yesterday morning, I got on Pinterest, and this was the very first thing I saw:
Now, if you don’t believe that the Lord can speak to you through various avenues, then I highly recommend that you spend some time talking to Him about that. He has spoken to me through scripture, books, people, music, even the wind. When I saw this, there was no doubt in my mind - I knew it was for me. I just sighed, closed my eyes and smiled. It was one of those, “Okay God, I hear you” moments.
Cameron and I are currently living the ministry life. He works for a non-profit providing transitional living for recovered young men who have struggled with life-controlling addictions. I work for a relational outreach program connecting with the high school students in our county, in addition to the Happily Ever Ginger blog and book club. But as fulfilling and rewarding as all of those things are, we still find ourselves longing to do more.
I think it’s how we are wired, as humans; to feel our hearts ache for the needs of others. Because ministry doesn’t stop. Ministry is always living and always active. There are lives to touch wherever you go, and I’m quickly learning that you don’t have to work for a ministry to live in ministry. It’s not just a job, a requirement or a Sunday morning routine. It’s an honor and privilege to be chosen and used by Jesus to change and impact the world around you, in the simplest of ways. We are called to be light bearers. We are called to be bold. We are called to be encouragers. We are called to be like Christ. And that looks like meeting people where they are, loving them through hardship, boldly sharing the Gospel, and being a shining light in a dark world. That’s ministry – every day, real, raw and authentic ministry!
My amazing brother-in-law had such a sweet moment with a homeless man outside of a gas station not long ago. I don’t feel it is my place to share all of the details, but I will share this. He sat down with the man and shared a part of his heart in a depth that not many others get to see on a regular basis, but a part that Jesus gets to see all the time. His beautiful, kind, generous and caring heart that adores people, no matter what they look like or where they came from. He took the time to talk to him, and cared enough to stay a while and get to know him, not as the man struggling on the street, but the man that God sees. A quick run into the store turned into a much longer and intentional time of fellowship with a man he may never see again. But he got to show him who Jesus is that day, and he never once had to mention His name.
You aren’t too young, too unqualified, too unprepared, too lost or too broken. You are valuable to the Kingdom of Heaven, right now, right where you are, and God wants to use you to help turn people towards Him! So, if you’re discouraged today because you don’t think you have a calling on your life, or you feel like God isn’t using you to make a difference, I want to lift you up and encourage you to just step out and love on someone; brighten up their day. Ministering to people doesn’t have to be a huge, grandiose gesture. Sometimes, showing someone who Jesus is, is as simple as giving them a smile and saying “hello”.