Karen and I had four small children and she was pregnant with Leah. Coming out of business school I had followed a call to ministry. For the last two years, I had poured out my life to build the ministry. And suddenly I was out of a job.
It was an anxious time. “How am I going to take care of my family?” I wondered. Mostly I thought, “Ministry is tough. I should probably just pull back and focus on the needs in front of me.”
In the back of my mind was a deeper question, “Can I trust God?” I honestly didn’t know. I was at the end of myself.
With bills to pay, it was a time of urgency. But I felt stuck—I couldn’t help repeatedly processing the last season. “What should I have done differently?” I asked. And easy answers eluded me.
I needed God to make sense of it. But I had a sneaking suspicion that he wanted more from me than I would be able to give.
As I was reading the Bible one day, this verse jumped out at me, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
I couldn’t escape the sensation that God was speaking directly to me. “That’s me God—I am weary of doing good,” I thought. “Doing good is impossible when your tank is empty. I don’t even know what it is to do good anymore.”
I knew I was at a crossroads. I wasn’t growing weary, I was weary. Was he telling me to ignore how I felt?
No, but he was asking me to choose not to stay in that place of emptiness, choosing instead to move to a better place. He was inviting me to take a fresh look at my life and the way I defined my call.
In fact, as I dug into it, I realized that he was saying three specific things:
1. Hang in There—This Is Just a Season
Inside I was asking the question, “Is it time to quit?” It is a question that young people seem to ask more frequently than their elders. They have fewer things tying them down. Breaking off commitments is easier.
Have you asked that question lately? You feel like perhaps you made a mistake taking this path you’re on. You feel like perhaps you’re not cut out for it. God wanted me to know that my feeling discouraged was not the same as him asking me to leave the ministry.
Perhaps he wants you to know the same thing. We all get discouraged, but usually he wants us to feel the discouragement and keep going.
He wants to show us that we have more gas in the tank than we thought was there. When you feel weary and the tank is reading “E” for empty, feelings may not equate to reality. There may be more fuel left than you realize.