As I sit here this morning pondering the past week’s events, I am blown away at my God and what He is doing for His children. As a pastor I get caught up like every other pastor, looking at church budgets, how many visitors have come and gone, how many have gotten saved or healed, and how I have affected change in people’s lives. Do you ever have one of those moments where you just get it? I had one last night. Let me explain how God set me up. Oh yeah he sets us up sometimes, the problem is that with preachers we don’t acknowledge it because that would make us look vulnerable or human. By the way if we look human we cannot pass ourselves off as being super human like most of us try to portray.
I was shown a video by my wife; maybe some of you men need to understand God does speak through women today. The video was about lollipop moments, YouTube it if you want to be blessed and know what it is about, and then, I in turn, showed our church. The video basically talks about how every day we have an opportunity to affect someone’s life. Then the other part of the setup was that God put two young ladies in my church with a desire to help all type people but especially the hungry and homeless. They started a ministry with the church that feeds a group of people that live in tents. The first time I went to tent city with Nicole and Alison, I met a man named Thomas; although I am horrible with names I could remember his. Last but not least, part of the set up was a Friday night, with nothing on my schedule that does not happen often. On this Friday night, Thomas was graduating from a job program he had been attending so I went.
This is where I realized something, as Pastors we get caught up in what we do or have done. We get so caught up in the moments that really have less to do about us than about Him. We love to boast of the ones we have prayed for and they were healed, come on guys, do you really think our prayer compares to the work of Jesus by being beaten. Does the Word not say “by His stripes we are healed”? And we are great about telling our buddies how many got saved under our ministry. Do you not realize how little you had to do with that? The Word says “no one can come to Christ unless His Spirit draws them” and I do believe it was His blood that saves not mine. Right now I have all the preachers and pastors saying I cannot believe you would minimize our jobs. Not at all! All of those things happen because we are yielded vessels and allow Christ to work through us.
It was at the moment that I was listening to Thomas give his graduation speech and acknowledging several times how happy he was his church family showed up to support him, with tears flowing from my eyes that I got it. You see when I say that, I’m not talking about getting something from seeing and hearing a testimony from a man who got his blinded eyes open, a miraculous conversion, or a huge financial blessing. I am looking at a homeless man, wearing a borrowed suit that has never paid a big amount of tithe and is not the one MOST pastors would brag about. But you see from this man and the huge smile on his face and the gigantic hugs he gave, I got it.
Oh how I wish others in ministry would get it. It is not all about what He does through us but it is really about what He does in us. When we figure out that people don’t need to always hear about our exploits for Christ and our moments of self-accolades, we can become transparent and let people know what He does in us. You see sitting in that graduation I realized it is only by the grace of God I am not in a bad situation. I am not separated from the homeless, the drug addict, the prostitute, the murderer, etc. because I am a preacher. I am separated only by His grace and mercy. I urge you today find your, I got it moments, and run with them. I want to say, thank you Thomas for being the preacher in this case.