Let’s talk about people.
People can tick you off like nothing else. Not the weather, not big business, not media, not the government, not fast food orders that are wrong, not getting stuck on hold with customer service, not even getting cut off after spending an hour or more on hold(s) with customer service.
People are at a whole other level. They make you want to quit. They make you want to leave town. They make you want to leave the country. They are unreasonable, unteachable and difficult in ways that only humans can be.
And with the whole pandemic going on, it’s a mass of people not social distancing as well as you do and things not working the way you need them to. And you get left on hold longer and can’t run quickly into a store to grab something because it’s hours are reduced or you have to wait in a long long line. And there’s the whole to wear a mask or not wear a mask argument. And it’s all populated by people!
Just at the time they’re vexing you the most (always wanted to use the word, “vexing”) you might miss that you are just as frustrating, annoying, mind numbingly difficult as they are. It’s the ability we have — kind of a super power. We are created by God to be creative, and wonderful. But add selfish and obtuse and emotional to the mix and look out! So, first lets admit that it’s not just them, it’s us too.
Today, THEY are the problem…
But not today. Oh no, not today. Today, THEY are the problem and you’re ready to throw in the towel. Other cliches like “that’s the last straw” or “I’ve had it up to here” come to mind. And some of the words that come with them aren’t Sunday school words.
So, yeah. PEOPLE! Argh! (Argh! is my good go-to word for email or text conversation that shows frustration and that no word, not even an inappropriate one can sum it all up)
You probably have good reason to feel that way. It’s happened before and I guarantee it will happen again. Unless you quit , move and go somewhere far away. Or if you quit and go work in a different ministry. Oh, no wait, it WILL happen there too. Because there are people there too and even in the kingdom of God we are a difficult bunch to work with.
You’re not the first and you won’t be the last.
“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Acts 7:51
Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” Exodus 17:4
“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:26
So, what do you do?
You can divert yourself with something like a movie, or food, or sports, or … Okay, that doesn’t solve anything. And sorry, I know you know that. Me too. But sometimes it feels better. For now anyway.
What you really need to do. What you really need the self-discipline to do is to go to God. Yeah, I know… you know that. Yet for some reason you’re resisting it. I do too. I think it’s our sinful selfish, “I want to wallow and vent and feel sorry for myself” feelings that come leaping forward.
Can’t I just wallow for a bit?
But if God has called you, and don’t dismiss that just because it’s hard…
But if God has called you, and don’t dismiss that just because it’s hard suddenly or maybe not suddenly but repeatedly, you can’t just run away, quit, hide in a cave. God’s in this with you. The Holy Spirit will speak to you to help you to keep going. You are not alone, even when it feels like it.
Look back at your journals or read those passages in the Bible that God used to call you into ministry.
Remember the people He used in your life. The faithful ones.
Remember your excitement as God led you into ministry.
Remember the joy, it was there, really.
Remember the fruit that God brought.
And as tough as it gets, we must always remember the fruit. That’s why God has us here. We are His beloved children who produce much fruit. (John 15)
But we must humbly turn to the Scriptures and to speaking/crying out and listening to the voice of God. It’s all about Him, right? So, let’s dust ourselves off one more time. Turn to the Lord (we sing all those songs and preach about how we depend on Him so let’s actually do it) and let Him care for us and lead us on.
Honestly if no one came but God still called…
Honestly, if no one came but God still called us then we have a responsibility. If it was all easy and people were all we thought they should be then where would be the challenge and wonder in that?
So, please don’t give up. Take some time. Take a breath or a breather. I bet you need a break. Take one with the Lord and let Him refresh you.