I grew up in a generation of young people being encouraged to “do big things for God.” I went to Bible school. I studied hard. I dreamed of being on the mission field, of opening a home for troubled girls. My husband left his job and studied to be in full time ministry. And yet here we are, middle aged, in a relatively safe and affluent area, working a 9-5 non-ministry related job and raising our four kiddos in what looks like a very modest version of the American dream. It’s hard sometimes not to feel like a disappointment or like we must have somehow “missed the mark” to have these seemingly God-honoring dreams stripped away through unfulfilled desires or closed doors.
Then, as believers, we comfort one another with statements like, “well your family is your ministry. Your neighborhood is your mission field,” as though these things should give us our identity. But what if I raise my children to the best of my fallen ability and they all fall astray? What if i never see a convert in my workplace or neighborhood? Have we failed? Are we doing something wrong? Oh friend, even these very noble statements fall short.
That’s why I took such comfort this morning in this beautiful reminder from Katie Orr – I had to keep myself from yelling “AMEN!” at 5:30am and waking a houseful of sleeping ragamuffins.
God is enough. I don’t need riches, security, or justice. I don’t need my detailed plans or the approval of man. I don’t need to achieve my goals, realize my dreams, or ascend to power. I only need to be with God. – Katie Orr, Faith
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:7-11 ESV
Knowing Christ. Being known by Him. Being with Him. How refreshing, freeing, reassuring, and exciting to be reminded that these things are ENOUGH.
These things are EVERYTHING.
Oh friends, may we find comfort and rest our purpose in NOTHING but knowing Christ and being known by Him. Our “ministry” comes out of that beautiful overflow. The rest is “rubbish.”
You can find Katie Orr’s study, “Faith” here. (afflink) I cannot recommend her FOCUSED15 studies enough.