I recently learned a life lesson I will never forget. Bob and I were privileged to be asked to minister at a particular event and honestly, I wasn't excited at all about it. That might sound horrible to some, but, please her me out. There were many reasons why I wasn't looking forward to this particular event; I was very tired, had been sick, and our schedule was crazy busy. There are other, in my opinion, good reasons to justify my feelings, but they aren't necessary to share. The night before, I had had some hurt feelings over a situation and went to bed upset and utterly frustrated. I prayed and asked God to give me peace and use me in spite of how I was feeling.
The morning that we left to head to the venue, I told myself to "just get through it and smile and I could rest later." When we arrived I was immediately greeted by some familiar faces, which is always nice and some not so familiar faces. (that's always nice, too!) We sound-checked and did all of the normal things required before a service, concert or event begin. While at our product table, someone approached me and began to talk to me. I immediately thought, "Oh Lord, are you kidding me? I can't take one more thing today. I do not have the energy for this person." Yet, I stood there and smiled and did my best to engage in conversation and be genuine. The person walked away and I went about my business. I sang, led worship, greeted people, sold CD's, and laughed a little. A little later on, they approached me again. I again, listened, smiled and they walked away. I watched this person the entire day. I watched them worship, smile, clap, talk to other people with a genuine smile. At the end of the event, they came to me again and hugged me, gave me a very nice compliment and said they hoped to see me again soon. I thanked them and went on. As I watched them leave, the Holy Spirit began to deal with my heart. I had had a wrong attitude. I was letting this person, who really hadn't done anything wrong to "get" to me and I was out of line. The Lord checked me on how I had dealt with an issue the night before, how I had handled some things in our ministry, my attitude towards this event (which ended up being a wonderful, wonderful time) and how I was dealing with some other things.
Several hours after the event, I received an email from the same person from the event. They had emailed just to tell me what a blessing the day had been to them and how they had been blessed by our ministry and couldn't wait to come and see us again. Also, a conflict with someone I love very much was resolved, and not by my doing- they approached me and we worked through it. All this in one day! As if that is not enough, I went to get our mail. Now, you need to understand that our budget wasn't even close to being met this particular weekend. I reached in the mailbox and to my utter amazement, a check from one of our Covenant Partners! This check was a total surprise and the exact amount needed to make our needed budget. WOW! I cried....I didn't get how God could bless me so much when I hadn't been all that I should have.
Through my husband and another couple whom I like to, in some ways, say our our mentors, I shared my feelings and my heart. I told them I wanted to, with God's help, not let silly things, financial worries, relationship issues and the many other facets of ministry to rob me of my joy and the privilege I have to serve the Lord. I hadn't trusted when I should have, I had a pre-conceived notion and attitudes that were wrong. Our dear friends shared some experiences and life-lessons learned with me and encouraged me.
I am glad the Lord still corrects me. It means He loves me. I love this verse in Proverbs: "For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:12
May we never get to prideful or to the place where we think we are beyond growing, learning, or being sharpened.
"Thank You, Lord that You still speak,love me as Your child and love me enough to correct me, and that You choose to use me, as unperfect as I am. May I be pleasing to You and bring honor and glory to You by the way that I live and the things that I do."