For all of us who are involved in ministry, there are going to be times when we feel unqualified, unprepared, and under a lot of opposition from the enemy who tries to confirm to us that we are both unqualified and unprepared! Because unfortunately it is true that I am both of those things, I have had to focus on a bigger truth.
The biggest difference in my life since I accepted Jesus nine years ago has been having the experience of “unconditional love”. I had never received that from a person before.
I have come to realize that the one and only thing I want most for anyone to whom I go to minister is that they will have the experience of unconditional love that only Jesus can give.
What I have learned is that my prayer each and every time needs to be that Jesus would give me His love for the people I meet. I pray that my idea of caring, sharing, listening, and counselling would be washed away, and that He would overtake my mind and body so that all they see and feel is Him.
I have been given a great opportunity to see people through His eyes – not knowing their pasts or futures, but instead hearing their hearts and feeling their pain.
He answers my prayer by giving me the courage to be waiting at the door to welcome inmates with a feeling of pure anticipation and love that I know is not from me. He continues it by providing me patience and easiness, as we often have to endure times of what would otherwise be awkward silence as ladies struggle to share what is on their hearts. He provides peacefulness in the room that has been noticed and commented on several times by the ladies.
I have been so moved by the love He gives me for them that it has become a common thing for me to share that I am there simply because He has loved me in a way that has caused me to want to come and love them. He has shown me that I am worthy of His love, no matter what I have done, and so are they.
I also often use the analogy that if I had found the best cookie or chocolate in the world, wouldn’t I be running out and telling all my girlfriends!!!
Today I want to encourage all of you who are either in ministry, considering ministry, or praying for those ministering that although you should do your best to be administratively prepared, you must also pray that He will give you His love for all you will meet.
After feeling led to share this, I received what I felt was confirmation from the Lord when a song by Casting Crowns played in my car the other day. The lyrics go like this:
Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him.
His yoke is easy, His burden is light.
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions,
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side”
Thank you, Father, that You have given me glimpses of Your incredible love for Your people and have allowed me to share in it.