Ministry is not in Vain
By Linda Martin West
Humpty Dumpty Ministry
"I am so tired of always being the one to have to give," I complained to God. "I'm tired of my house being turned into a three ring circus every week. I'm tired of the ministry. I'm just plain tired."
The weariness had given way to self-pity. I unplugged the vacuum and began picking up trash left in the wake of the party. The shrill ringing of the telephone interrupted my thoughts.
"Hello," an excited voice greeted me from the other end of the line. "Is this the Martins who pastored in Webster about ten years ago?"
"Yes," I answered, my thoughts tumbling to the first church we had pioneered.
"You may not remember me," she began again. "I was saved in that church, when I was a little girl."
For the next several minutes, I listened to her story. She had been one of the neighborhood children we had picked up and brought to Sunday school week after week. Now she was an adult. She had moved to California and turned her back on God. Recently, she had become very ill and required emergency surgery. As she lay in the hospital bed near death's door, the memory verses she had learned as a child came back to remind her of God's love and compassion. In her desperation, she called out to Him. He answered her cry for healing. Now she was calling to thank me for the years I had invested in her life.
She encouraged me to continue in my ministry, with the knowledge that our labor was not in vain, the effects of it had spanned a decade.
A young woman living on the other side of the United States could not get away from the God she had learned to love while sitting on my living room floor.
I returned to my cleaning with a light heart. Ministry is demanding and often renders us weary and discouraged. Often we do not hear the reports from the fruit of our labors. However, we can rejoice in Him.
I Corinthians 15:58 says: "Therefore, my dear (sisters), stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."