Have you ever missed something right in front of you?
Ministry is interesting because you learn early on that there’s a lot more to people than you might expect or imagine. Every face and every story, the more you’re in ministry teaches you that people and their baggage are complex things.
- 50-70% of kids will walk away from the church when they graduate. And at least that number in youth don’t attend church at all.
- Somewhere between 30-50% of marriages end in divorce. It depends on who you ask and where you look but it’s a heartbreaking number.
- 1 in 4 women will be the victim of domestic abuse.
- 15% of people struggle with depression or anxiety.
- 6% of people struggle with either drug or alcohol addiction.
- 47% of families say they have been hurt or impacted by pornography use.
I could go on. You know. Because if you’re in ministry you’ve experienced or you’ve walked hand in hand with brokenness.
And when you’re in ministry and you see the rising statistics and the pain and hurt it seems like maybe we’re outnumbered or maybe we’ve already lost.
That why I love the small and obscure story found in 2 Kings 6. The prophet Elisha has made enemies in his calling and in his ministry. They gather outside his home with chariots and swords and it seems like the battle is won. There’s a young man that served Elisha and he exits the house to be faced with an army of enemies. But as a worried young boy looks out at the doom and gloom, Elisha stares on unfazed.
Then he prays this: “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!”
The boy suddenly sees a hillside full of angels. It was right in front of him but he missed it.
I think this happens in ministry. The fact of the matter is you may not be called to the harvest. You may not see first hand life change every time. And even when you do witness the harvest, you don’t see what God can continue to do with that person as they grow in their faith.
I don’t know what you’re facing in ministry but I know that whether you’ve been called to a vibrant ministry or a challenged one, you won’t see the whole story.
But there’s one who does. And he’s the one we can ask for clarity. When you start to get discouraged ask him to help you take a second look. Pray that he opens your eyes to the fact he is greater than the enemy in front of you, the hills are filled with chariots of fire, and the battle is already won.