Friday, May 16, 2008

Sacrifice of Ministry

Today and tomorrow mark milestones in our family. Tonight, our niece and beauty queen, Donna, is graduating from high school. Tomorrow, our future daughter-in-law receives her college degree. As we all know these events are hugh accomplishments and are cause for celebration. However, my husband and I are unable to attend either graduation due to both events being out of state and church commitments. It is just one of the sacrifices ministers and their families sometimes have to make.

There have been several special times that we have had to miss with our families. Rarely, do we ever get to spend Mother's Day or Father's Day with our parents. There have been countless birthday celebrations missed with our families too. When other church members travel to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with their relatives, many times minsters are unable to go because of distance. Except for the last couple of years, our family has been fortunate to live close enough to travel home for the holidays. Although it is not easy not celebrating without our families, we have learned there are others in our church who may be in the same boat as us. Missed celebrations are just part of the sacrifice of ministry.

No, we may not be able to attend every milestone celebration. However through God's calling, we get the opportunity to share Jesus with a dying world. Fortunately, we have family that understands our calling. They are supportive in all we do. Besides, I believe when we all get to heaven there will be all types of celebrations taking place.

When Jesus began his ministry on earth, He sacrificed greatly. He ministered to the sick and poor. He suffered angry mobs and was betrayed. I often wonder if He was able to celebrate with his mom and earthly dad on their birthdays. Was he able to visit with his brothers often and play with their children? How many family milestones did Jesus willingly miss in order to fulfill His Heavenly Father's purpose? I believe Jesus found joy in the milestone of someone receiving salvation. In order for His Heavenly Father's purpose to be fulfilled, Jesus sacrifice earthly milestones.

I do believe that even when you miss family milestone your heart can still be thinking of that person. You can spend time praying for that individual. You can write a note, make a phone call, or send flowers. Even though I am missing the graduation milestone of Donna and Robyn this weekend, I plan to send a note from the "World's Greatest Aunt" and "World's Best Future Mother-In-Law." Even if the miles separate us, I will also join the celebration party by breaking out a box of dark chocolate.

What sacrifices does your family make in order to share Jesus with the world?

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