Would you like to hear a story?
I’d tell it anyway!
Or write a book, maybe.
But since you’re still here….
One time a young man responded to the call and became a preacher. Then he got married and started a family.
His desire was to do the work of God, and he was intent on carrying out that same purpose; it coloured everything he did and every decision he made.
Soon it seemed like it was all he ever wanted to talk about –
The lost sheep still out there that needed to be brought into the fold.
The sheep in his care that needed to be tended.
How to stop the wolves from feeding on the sheep.
How to expand the kingdom of God….
Eventually, kindergarteners became college graduates, and he didn’t even know how that happened!
After years of trying to get the preacher to understand that he needed to be present and see what God was doing NOW, even in his family, the preacher’s wife finally stopped trying.
More and more, her marriage began to feel like a burden. Had she been mistaken when she believed this was God’s purpose for her?
Dwelling on these thoughts and desperately searching for answers, she grasped whatever was within reach; she believed every notion she found – as long as it placated her, it must be true, right?
From that point it didn’t take that long before she slid into the place of apathy and….
Dare she admit it? –
It’s not like God doesn’t already know, so she might as well let it out (Since we’re telling the story of what happened)!
So yes, God and His work became a cross – a cross she found she eventually began to resent.
It was really a cry for help when she first began to miss Bible studies and prayer meetings. Then she began to miss these meetings because she was angry. And then she just plain no longer cared!
So while the preacher preached his heart out on Sundays, she sat and prayed for God to have mercy on his soul. Sometimes she thought, if you know these things and don’t do them, does that not make you a hypocrite? May God have mercy on you!
We’ve been told that there’s only so much a person can take before their sense of self preservation kicks in and almost gets the better of them… well, in a manner of speaking, that is.
Because the church woke up to the news one day that mama was gone, and no one knew where she was. Not even the preacher.
She was the perfect preacher’s wife.
A rock and blessing to his ministry.
Always there when you need her.
One time when my cat got sick at night and I couldn’t get hold of the preacher because he had travelled, I called her in the middle of the night and she let me bring the cat over….
So many questions, yet the answers were not within their reach.
Or they just couldn’t see.
Because, really, it was not that hard to see.
How could they not see that their needy dependence on the preacher was robbing his family of their husband and father?
She didn’t mind him ministering to the needs of the flock God had put in his care. She actually prays God would help him be faithful in his calling, but….
It’s just not the same when he’s missing their daughter’s birthday to bury a dog – especially when you remember they’d been planning the party for ages.
Then there was that time he swept the house squeaky clean because a family was hungry and in need. He said it was faith. She only needed him to tell her what they were supposed to have for dinner that evening. It turned out his mind interpreted that question as her questioning his calling and ministry. As she sang her crying, hungry children to sleep that night she mourned because she couldn’t answer the question her son had asked her –
“Why does God prefer other families to our own?”
“But He doesn’t. He loves us all equally”.
“Why did he tell daddy to give all our food away? And he’s never home.”
And then he told her again what he’d come to believe and has been telling everyone who’d listen, “I don’t want to be a preacher when I grow up”.
But then again, you don’t become a preacher because your daddy was one; you become a preacher because God told you to do it….
If the struggle was only with trying to balance the work of the ministry and not abandoning his own family, it probably would not have been so hard.
But there are bad sheep within the flock! They’re probably not sheep, and only God knows what they are!
Like the lady who said she needed counseling one time – it was easy to see how that was true, since she went to see a preacher with clothes that were barely there! When he said they’d have to talk in an open area, and not in his office, she disagreed. So he turned around and began to pray in the Holy Ghost! She was gone by the time he was done!
I’d wager her intentions were not noble – and there’s more than a few preachers who have to deal with these kinds of situations.
And we need to cover them in prayers.
As she sensed she was beginning to crumble under the weight of her cross, she remembered the preacher’s wife from when she was a youth.
She made inquiries. The children were already grown and out of the house, and she didn’t think the preacher would notice her absence (plus, she didn’t care all that much. It must have been that sense-of-self-preservation thing).
Next thing she knew, she had packed a bag and was gone.
As the older preacher’s wife welcomed her into her home, her appreciation for this seasoned woman of faith went up mega notches –
She was still here; after all these years, she was still here ministering to her preacher.
After she made certain the younger preacher’s wife was breathing properly, and that she could still string words properly and be coherent, she told her to take a load off….
It was the best gift this burned-out preacher’s wife had received in ages, yet when she received it she didn’t know what to do with it.
Does she really want to hear my story?
But she was there already….
So maybe she should just tell it….
Or write a book….
This post may be linked up with these encouraging writers.