The Journey of Sticking with It.
Most of us are motivated to do good and help those in need. Our desire to show love to those who are marginalized fuels our passion and allows us to enter into the world of hurting people. With good intentions we reach out beyond our comfort zones, give of ourselves, and sometimes even start ministries.
My question is this: What do we do when our efforts and best laid plans don’t produce the results we hoped for? I am not writing this post in reference to any specific ministry, and it is also not meant to dissuade us on this journey of making a difference. I do think though that we need to ask real questions, because you know what? If we base our passion and emotions on how successful we are in seeing “results”, there will be times when we are sorely disappointed.
Entering into the world of the broken requires that we become broken ourselves.
The “Journey of Sticking with It” is filled with twists and turns, roadblocks, victories, prayers that seem to go unheard, and sometimes awesome success.
In this post I will be sharing some of my thoughts and some wise words from Jedd Medefind, a speaker who I recently had the privilege of listening to.
“All who desire to join God in works of justice and mercy will experience some kind of disillusionment.” Jedd Medefind.
When I see hurting people, my initial thought is that I want to be their cheerleader. They just need someone to come in and make their life better, be there to support them and get them back on their feet, right? This is all well and good, but:
“What do we do when our love proves to be inadequate to change someone’s life?” Jedd Medefind
My own struggle has been as an adoptive mom. I love all my girls fiercely. A few years back when we were new “adoptive parents”, I was under the illusion that if I just parented them well and loved deeply, that would be enough to cover the loss they had experienced. I have learned by falling on my face a few times I needed a proper knowledge of how to help a child who has experienced loss and trauma.
Love isn’t always enough.
So what do we do when we are tempted to look at struggles that we are facing ( in any area) as a reason that we shouldn’t have made the decision in the first place? Let’s be honest, for any of us who have ever made a major decision to start a ministry, have kids, change careers, adopt… don’t the struggles we face sometimes get intense enough to make us ask “why did I ever do this”?
Jedd gave some great advice that I can’t say any better then he did, so I want to just share some of his words below:
- We choose to commit even though it is complex.
- We risk because we have been risked for.
- We refuse to take the seat of the critic.
- We realize that we need to ask God to make us humble.
- Many times the problem isn’t “out there”, it is “in here”.
- Evil cannot be overcome without great personal cost, this truth is woven throughout scripture.
- The gospel gives us motivation that is bigger than the world’s hurt.
When we are tempted to doubt, we can look to the One who truly was the greatest example ever of sacrificial love.
Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. James 1:4