Growing season

As much as I love the summer months, I do not always enjoy the oppressive heat that comes along with it (especially when my air conditioner unit decides to misbehave on the hottest of days - why can't it do that when it's pleasant like in the spring or fall?).  With each passing week I've noticed that my grass gets a little dryer and grows a little slower.  Those essential weekly mowings have now stretched out into bi-monthly affairs, since the lack of rain and balmy heat have caused my grass to take a hiatus from growing.

It's been a little over 2 months now since my family and I took a step of faith to leave the ministry where God had been using us for 9 years in order to walk in a new direction.  As convinced as I was at the time (and still am) that God was leading us onward, it was still a bit nerve-wracking knowing that there wasn't another "firm" ministry opportunity laying in wait for us.  God has been gracious to provide me with several opportunities to preach and minister to various churches in the interim period, but I'll have to admit that I'm getting somewhat antsy to put my hands back to the plow of full-time ministry.

As I have prayed and sought God's face for His future ministry for me, I have come to a few conclusions about myself and my call:
  • I love being home with my kids and have enjoyed every minute of it, but I am not called to be full-time a stay-at-home dad.
  • As refreshed as I am to be able to participate in a local church rather than being a leader in one, I long to lead God's people and preach God's truth.
  • God has a way of refining me that is oftentimes not comfortable but is always necessary.
  • My call is to the local church, whether it be a new work that has been started or pulling alongside a more mature body of believers.
  • I am married to the most wonderful and incredible woman on the planet.
The time that I have had away from the daily activities of local church ministry has given me more time to study and to process where I am in my life and my ministry.  This is no mid-life crisis - I won't be shopping for a red convertible or changing my wardrobe any time soon.   Instead, this is season of growth for me and even though the lessons can be tough to embrace they are always good. 

God does this on purpose.  He places us where we will either grow or wither.  If I want my lawn to flourish in this kind of weather, I must be diligent to water it and care for it so that it can survive the harsh summer elements.  The same is true in our lives with Christ.  If you find yourself in a season that's a little dry, then now is the time to be feasting on God's word and bathing your life in prayer, for God will be constantly at work trying to shape you and grow you beyond where you are comfortable.   

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