In discussions recently about a new ministry opportunity, one of the participants commented that they first wanted to know that it would be sustainable. I think it was probably a pointed remark about whether or not we would be here long enough to invest time in an endeavor with us. (That happens a lot as an expat that moves around, not everyone wants to invest in a friendship that they see as 'short-term'). I let the pointed end of the comment slide, but the thought continued to bounce around in my head. I could not put my finger on why the word "sustainable" was bothering me so. Then, a single quiet thought pierced my confusion,
"I'm so glad God did not wait until I was sustainable before offering me salvation."
God didn't say, "When she stops being prideful, I will forgive her." Nor did he condition any of my multiple returns to the throne with, "Prove that you will change this time." To the contrary, "while [I] was still in my sin" he forgave. (Romans 5:8)
Nothing that is in our control is truly sustainable. This is especially true of ministry.
We had a discussion with Jewel this past week where she asked if it was okay if "witnessing doesn't work". Of course, what she meant was if someone does not immediately make a decision. We however took the path of how do we know when ministry "works". We may only be the seed-planters, or the waterers, or the encouragers along someone's path to faith. Who are we to say that it works or doesn't? Judgement should not be our role.
The ministry opportunity is moving forward. It is such a joy! I'm in a position to teach again after a long period that seemed like a drought but was more God preparing me. Is it sustainable? I can't say. Will I be here to see it to fruition? Yes. Because God's fruition is for me to be faithful in serving when he opens opportunities. Will it be all that the group hopes to happen? Probably not, because we often dream differently than God plans. But I trust that it will all be good.
"Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him" Romans 5:7-9, The Message
Is there something in your life you are waiting to do because you are unsure if you can sustain it? Let go and let God sustain what he has destined. Be blessed this week!