I remember thinking when I arrived and found over forty or fifty people present, “who are these people?” I knew only two or three. As it was, the room soon filled with 180 people. Perhaps I should write that again… in words. One hundred and eighty. Yes, there were that many in the room. The thing is, I have never ministered to that large a number of people and it was a new thing for me. I ofcourse thought that they had come for something else that had not panned out and they ended up at our teaching. I was corrected at the end when Milanzi stood and informed us that every person present had come for the teaching. I was overwhelmed. There were grannies, I mean real grannies with the magnifying glass kind of spectacles. They danced and celebrated Jesus and once again I was reminded that this is a privilege, that these people, precious and beloved are KNOWN. Every aspect of their life is known and God values them.
We spoke about Ezekiel and the valley of the dry bones. We have been teaching about the Word of God. The object of our lesson was “chifukwa chiyani?” (why?). The Spirit of the Lord took Ezekiel and placed him in a valley… why a valley? Why not a mountain top? He made him walk about the bones…why? What was the purpose of this?
The entire time we were teaching about asking ‘why’ as we study the bible and being aware that God PURPOSELY uses words and ORCHASTRATES things with PRECISION. In view of this we aught to be mindful of WHAT He says and HOW He says it. Every statement we read brought a ‘why’ and every answer they gave brought a further ‘why’. Through laughter we were able to express the need to question and to seek the Spirit’s guidance when studying the bible.
The entire time I was close to tears because I knew that at the end I was to announce that I was taking a month and a half out from ministry. We had already informed the other groups but Mngwangwa… we had to go and teach and tell them in person. They took it better than I anticipated.
In an effort to serve I have sacrificed my relationship with God. Instead of walking in grace, I have stomped my feet in works and felt the effects. When the joy of serving becomes the mandate and burden of serving there is a moment when we must reassess. Even though I do believe there is a burden to carry… it should be light. He promised that His burden is light and that His yoke is easy so there is something to be said when the joy is gone and the strength cannot be found. Of course I did try cutting down the hours of ministry but that was MY way. God’s way was to take me OUT and saturate me once again in HIM that I become so full, my OVERFLOW feeds many. The true servant serves out of relationship. The extent of service is parallel to the depth of relationship. There are things you are willing to do for the ones you love; the greater the love the less burdensome the service. Love is the great burden lifter. Marriages face challenges sometimes because the service to one another has outweighed the love and it is now works rather than grace that keeps the couple together. The same can be said for a job. When the love for what do is outweighed by the mere responsibility to DO IT, trouble is on the horizon. There is a very short distance we can effectively go before we recognize that we have wondered off from dependency on the Holy Spirit. My consolation is that in recognizing it, we have encountered God’s grace and are available for transformation.
So, in truth, I have been benched because I am tired and not much good for the team at present. You see, our coach is LOVING. He intends to use us for a long time and so, He is a visionary, He sees past THIS game and to the next and the next. I know I am in the team for keeps. I am a warrior. There are many battles ahead and if I do not step back in this one to heal my wounds and feed my soul, I may not be of any use in the next. So, as to the village ministry… one month out. I will be back in 31 days. I will back, filled, fired up and saturated. I leave you with this thought… If you find that you are tired constantly and the passion for whatever you do is fizzled somewhat (it doesn’t have to be drastic), then perhaps my circumstance can be a propeller towards your renewal. Let us meet as soaring eagles, for the Word promises us that we will walk and not faint, run and not grow weary and above all, mount up as eagles.