Enjoying the Journey
As I write these words I am sitting in northern Michigan. It is a beautiful summer day at camp. This morning at breakfast I had an engaging conversation with a young man who is starting out in ministry. Near the end of our time together he asked me a question that seemed very broad. And yet as I reflected on his question only one answer would come to mind.
Q: “What is the most important lesson you have learned in ministry?”
While a hundred great truths could be discussed, there is one that stands out above the rest. It is the answer I gave to my young friend. It is the answer the Holy Spirit gave to me.
A: “My inability and His ability.”
In our youth we have the idea that if we can just learn the “how to” we will be able to make a difference. Many educators cater to this idea of making people able. But the older that I get and the longer I am in the Lord’s work the more I realize that I am not able at all.
Twenty years ago I had lots of answers for everyone. I knew exactly what needed to be done! Now I am getting acquainted with my ignorance.
As a very young man my energy and effort seemed to be without limit! Through sheer determination and work we can get it done. Now I am getting acquainted with my inadequacies.
Education and fresh ideas provide so many resources for young minds and youthful ambitions. Now I am beginning to get acquainted with my insufficiency.
Yes, the greatest lesson I have learned in all of these years is that I am not enough. Not wise enough. Not strong enough. Not good enough. But Jesus is all of that and more.
It is at the end of ourselves that we find the beginning of His resources. Christ is enough. And only He is enough.
This is not just a lesson for ministry – it is a lesson for all of life. This is why my life verse is Galatians 2:20,
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I am unable. He is able.
A few days ago in a youth meeting I referenced a book that I have recommended to people for years. They Found The Secret by V. Raymond Edman details the experience of a host of God’s people who came to this same truth…”not I, but Christ.” Every person must find this secret for themselves.
The earlier in life you learn this lesson the greater all of life will be. And yet it is the lesson we learn over and over in Christ’s classroom. My inability and His ability.