Change in ministry work is inevitable. All you have to do is look out your window to understand that God is a God of seasons. There are seasons in nature, there are seasons in life and there are seasons in ministry. Even Jesus had a beginning to His ministry and an end to His ministry on earth which began His new eternal season of ministry that will lead to the final season when He returns to reign forever.
Sometimes when we reach the “dried out branch” season it can feel like God Himself has gathered us up and thrown us into the fire as a way to punish us for falling short in our ministry work. Because this is such a painful analogy, the enemy can use it as a way to convince us that God is condemning us, that God doesn’t really love us, that He has abandoned us. It really feels like condemnation from God when those in ministry around us have done the gathering up of the dry branches and God is using them as vessels for the tossing into the fire.
I’ve had some tossing into the fire events in my life. WOW! It is ever so painful for our ministry work to end in this manner. Having no control over it is the most disconcerting part. Having said all this, I tell my clients that the four major failures (tossing into the fire episodes) of my life are the reason I am where I am today. Where am I today? In the most amazing, wonderful ministry.
I would have never changed, never moved, never grown had God not intervened by forcing my branches to be burned in the fires. Out of the ashes I am who I am today…stronger in faith and more convinced than ever that we have a God that cares and loves beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. I never cease to be amazed how God “keeps” each painful detail of our life and redeems them into the beautiful.
I know, know, know that my redeemer lives…