We are called to toil in the Word of God and in prayer, yet there is nothing our enemy opposes more actively.
We work to build a community where people are connected while occupying an office filled with temptations to isolation.
We preach a gospel of joy, but preachers are hard pressed with temptations to depression.
We must preach with passion but pastor with patience. We must be gentle with the sheep and fierce with the wolves. And we must somehow discern the difference.
We must plead with people to repent and believe all the while knowing that it is God who must save. We plead with God in prayer until our wills align with his. We must earnestly seek the presence of the Spirit, knowing full well that he moves where he pleases.
We must labor with all of our strength but never, ever trust it.
We are paid to satisfactorily do a job that never ends: When have I studied enough? When have I prayed enough? When have I mentored enough? When have I counseled enough? We who are never finished are called to lead others to rest in the finished work of Jesus.
Ultimately, we labor and long for results that we can never achieve. Being a pastor is a lifelong journey to a place of utter dependence.
This is strange work, being a pastor. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.