My wife made a very heartfelt and bold statement on Facebook about the hurts of being a pastor/pastor’s wife. You can read it here. Since then, I have had texts, messages, and calls showering us with love and encouragement. I can never say thank you enough.
Being a pastor is a tough gig, but I wouldn’t do anything else! Let’s look at what I have been told, but let’s look at them through my filter.
- “You only have to speak on Sundays. It’s only 30 minutes right?” Until you consider the hours of studying and prep. EVEN more difficult is the tension I live under during those moments because of the fact that God could use my words to change someone’s life. Sundays are some of my favorite moments!
- “You just sit around and pray all day right?” I wish. I love praying for people. Here is what many fail to realize. Prayer time for me can also be heartbreaking. When I am reading them, hearing the hurt in words, knowing they are at their wits end, and taking them to God, I hurt with them. A lot. I truly love people and seeing them hurt kills me. However, when I keep praying for someone, and God provides the miracle, it is a feeling like very few others.
- “Is counseling that hard? Just ask people how they feel and then read a scripture to them, right?” Is counseling hard? Well, the national average for success is around 30%, so yeah, it’s hard. It’s similar to prayer. No one has ever needed counseling because life is great! They need it because life is tough. Dealing with those grieving, suffering in the marriage or with kids, depression, addiction, and a ton of other things breaks my heart, but I keep doing it. Watching people overcome the ups and downs of life, is one of my greatest joys.
There are plenty of other examples, but you get the picture. I love my calling. I love being the pastor of what I think is the greatest church in the world. With my acceptance of being called to be a pastor does put me in a tough situation many times. Situations like my wife described happen more than I care to admit. And yes, it hurts, a lot. When you pour out your life for others, and then get treated like that, my flesh wants to call the person out. At the same time my spirit wonders what is going on in their life, and how can I help them. (Crazy right?!?!)
I fully understand that all “jobs” are difficult at times. My effort here is not to compare the difficulties of mine to yours, but simply to provide insight into a career many people do not chose. It’s a career I love, am called to, and will keep living for as long as God allows.
Find life…live grace…and become hope.