Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dealing with a Big Hurt

  Last summer, I was dumped. Told I was not good enough. I'm still hurt by it, even though I've been told to "deal with it", by the ordained and by laymen, because I just shouldn't feel that way. Their attitude disturbed me almost as much as the fact that I was told I couldn't serve anymore in the capacity I had been serving since 1998. That's a lot of commitment down the tubes.

  It's tough being a Christian these days. The statistics show that 85% of the world's Christian churches have no trained clergy and yet, the church in other countries is growing so fast, they can't keep up with it. So why is this happening?

  There, in other lands, I would be considered a rock star, so to speak. I have a BA in history and a minor in Philosophy. I have taken two languages, Greek and German. I took numerous classes concerning Christianity, comparative religions and Islam, even the history of Islam. Of course, I have taken Philosophy classes out the proverbial butt. I've taken the History of Christianity, OT and NT, and then, from our own denomination, ten specific courses on theology and yet, I am not good enough. Not in their eyes. I have served 5 congregations during vacancies, one with Word and Sacrament, the others in Word ministry. I have led many boards and Bible studies. I've served as an elder for 25 years. I served a nursing home ministry for seven years, weekly, with a service and Bible Study each week, but that doesn't count. Experience does not count. None of it counts. I am no one.

  So, you see why I am hurt. I can no longer serve. In fact, my own pastor told me I may not longer use my deacon's stoles if he does allow me to serve, when he needs me. Am I bitter? No, just extremely disappointed in them. As a Biblical historian, they have made severe mistakes in their opinions due to lack of knowledge and misguided hearts. Not only that, they care nothing about how we (all 650 that have been affected by the ruling) feel about any of this. Some have been able to be converted into pastors, but very few. Most of us and I, am told to get over it. It's going to take a long time. It's going to take patience. It's going to be a road of forgiveness only the Lord can bring into my heart, for I am weak and He is strong.

  And I come back to my original question, "Why is this happening?" Sin. The devil uses "divide and conquer" all of the time. Men, out of pride, unwilling to share what they consider rightfully theirs by "taking up their cross and following" are unwilling to admit that if they let someone else help them bear the load, they would get more done. Their ministries would be easier. Their ministries would grow. But we aren't good enough. I'm not good enough.

  Dealing with a big hurt sometimes takes more time than one thinks. So I look to Him. It's not all about me, this I know. But it still hurts.

  "Forbid it Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ my God; all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood." # 425 TLH