Thursday, August 17, 2006


I hope it is as obvious to people who don't know me as it is to me that in this picture i am exhausted. I definitely don't post the photo out of vanity. But the picture illustrates a couple of things. First, the cool part: the steam in the background, about 2.5 miles away, is being produced by molten lava rolling into the Pacific Ocean from the active volcano on the Big Island. Second, I realized something today that was entirely new to me, and, as I pondered it I remembered this picture.

What is this new learning? What profound revelation did God give me? It wasn't anything earth shattering. It simply was this: Ministry is hard work. You see, in the picture above, my family and I had been driving and touring and hiking around the Big Island of Hawaii for about ten hours. At the moment my wife, Tara, took this lovely photograph, I had been carrying that 30 pounds of 2-year-old for some distance over lava fields to see that steam behind me. And, as a result of all that excitement, fun, and hard work, I was on my last leg.

Ministry, and all it entails, is like that. Yes, it is fun. Yes, it is exciting. Yes, it is rewarding. But, yes, it is hard. There are aspects of it that aren't fun or exciting. And, today, as I felt like I really needed more coffee to make it another step and to smile as I shared with another individual, God showed me a little big more of Himself. And, praise God, no matter how hard the work is, when it is done for His glory and consistent with His will, it is all rewarding.

I spoke today to a great man of faith who shared about how the past year and a half of his ministry had been the time of his life. Understand, the past year and a half of his ministry had probably been some of the most challenging he had ever faced. But, because of his love for God and the grateful heart God had given him for seeing God's glory even through all of the insanity, his perspective on it was one of joy, which is quite different than many looking from the outside in might have.

My wife and I look back on the month of July 2006 as the best month of our lives. Even though we had no vehicle at our disposal and logged miles every day on our feet, we ate many things we didn't like and couldn't afford to just choose to go out to eat, we moved from sharing way too much square feet to about 500, and we were thousands of miles from everything we were used to, God blessed us beyond measure. During just the first two weeks we could write down 19 distinct happenings or answers to prayer affirming He had led us to be there. I'd type out all my stories of answered prayer but i'm afraid the length of the post would be too daunting to most and I'd rather just tell you personally!

All of that to say, God is so amazingly good. He truly does work all things for good for those who love God and are called to His purpose. When He tells us to be thankful in all circumstances, He also makes it possible for us to be. What a wonderful God we serve. In fact, what other god is there that actually came not to be served, but to serve? What other god doesn't enslave us; instead, we have the God who loves and frees us and came to give us an abundant life? While we may be called upon to work hard for His glory, and to do all things as though we were working for the Almighty Creator of the Universe and beyond, we get to yoke up with Jesus Christ, the one in whom God placed all supremacy, and to whom we can give all of our burdens. Praise be to God! What sweet release and rest He provides!!!!! Posted by Picasa

3 comments:

Rob Westbrook said...

Thanks for this article. I think I will praise the LORD with you!

Kevin Bussey said...

It is exciting to hear what God is doing thru you!

David Roth said...

Bryan,

You learn fast brother. For those of us in full time vocational ministry, this post is refreshing, energizing and motivating. Thanks for sharing.