From Pause for Pastors: Finding Still Waters in the Storm of Ministry.

Think about your struggles and your successes. Think about your strengths and your weaknesses. Think about your victories and defeats. Think about Jesus entering a dialogue with you and healing you of your inner wounds. Think about Jesus directing the conversation toward Him seeing Himself all over your face, hearing His voice through your words, noticing His love through your labors, which often seem so frail.

Consider your weaknesses. See a smile on Christ’s face as He points to that very spot as where He can show off the most.

Contemplate about decisions you’ve made in ministry and in your personal life that give you a sick feeling whenever you remember them. See Christ reaching over to hug you as He whispers to you a brief story of how those decisions are far, far away and He never stopped loving you during that time. Hear His soft voice say, “That is gone. Let’s not bring it back.”

Imagine Jesus totally changing the subject, asking you questions you never assumed a Messiah would ask. He talks to you about the books you are reading and the songs you love. He talks to you about the wild ideas in your mind and the ball games of your favorite teams. He asks about dinner, about a news report, about each member of your family. See this as a conversation of healing, of recovery, of joy, of fun, of redemption. Accept it as a reality while dreaming, a mystery of the holy, a moment to become more common.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that type of conversation with Jesus? Not always the same. Not always so typical. Our strengths and our weaknesses need ongoing discourse with the One who can help us live a healthy balance. Deep moments of listening to His knowledge. Painful confrontations when He challenges our poor tendencies. Fun humor when He applauds our unexpected feats. Soft corrections and calm hugs, noisy celebrations and reverent awe, walks to the ball game and chats while reading the latest book, silence while gazing together at the sunset and sweat while jogging together as the sun wakes with a new day.

Invite Him into your office. Your strengths and weaknesses are there.

Invite Him into your house. Your strengths and weaknesses are there.

Invite Him into your dreams and doubts, your theology and your labor, your self-talk and your denial, your failures and your victories. Don’t let Jesus be one of your many friends. Don’t let Him be your consultant you hope will bring success to a ministry. Don’t let Him be just a portion, just a part, just a piece.

When you are strong, depend on Him. Rejoice humbly, knowing you are nothing without Him.

When you are weak, depend on Him. Petition desperately, knowing you are nothing without Him.