Guest post by Kristin Rivera, volunteer leader in Raleigh, NC.
“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it.” | Mark 16:20
As though I had never read them before, those words shook me today.
And so did these words: “When He starts a good work, He will finish it.” (Philippians 1:6)
They ring true to my soul, because lately, my ministry at Apex High lately has been hard. Over the past few months, I have felt burned out, lazy, excited, and then discouraged. After taking 18 hours of college classes every week, working part time, and being a Young Life leader, I became tired.And then sick – at least 4 times since January because I was not taking care of myself.
It has taken me this long to learn that I need rest. I have to take care of myself. But also that just as much as I need the Father to care for me when I’m tired, my Young Life girls need love from me in their brokenness. My ministry directly relates to my relationship with Jesus. If I am not letting Him care for me, speak to me, and love me like He wants to, my ministry will suffer too.
Recently, I started to let Him in. To let Him fill in the cracks of my pride and to renew me.
And in that, He showed me how little my ministry has to do with me. How prideful am I to think that my high school friends are coming to Young Life events because of who I am? How arrogant am I to think that I don’t need to get on my knees every day and plead to the Father that they would know Him?
I am merely a vessel. And what an honor it is, that He would choose me, knowing I would waver. Knowing I would doubt. Knowing I would have pride. Knowing I would not depend on Him.
Yet He chose me.
In the past month, fewer girls have come to YL events. At least 15 girls came to things twice a week in the Fall. This semester, (allowing for snow days/Spring breaks/Easter breaks/spring sports) just a handful of girls have come out. I have been able to hang out with girls outside of organized events, which is always so sweet. But, in this day of “We had 1,274 people get baptized today!” I have felt discouraged. I know that Jesus is bigger than numbers, but I just felt down. What was I doing wrong? Why were girls not responding to me?
But those verses–the words I have read before, assure me that:
- He will finish what He started.
- He promises.
- His promises accompany signs.
These words are proof that this is way bigger than me, for sure. And also proof that I am so human for thinking He wouldn’t show up. He may not have signs that I can see right now. And I need to be okay with that. But I also need to be preparing for Him to do something big. Low numbers are fine, but am I at my school meeting girls? Am I pursuing girls, by showing up even when they don’t respond? Am I praying for them as much as I’m praying for myself?
More to the point, do I trust the Lord enough to be working in ways I can’t see, in ways that I could never imagine?
He has never failed me. And so I am praying for Him to do the impossible, believing that He will, just as He has in the past, time and time again.