“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” John 16:21
How do you know when you are truly called to a specific ministry? Is ministry something that I just decide I want to do? While its true that God has ministry for every child of His to be involved in, there are those that have been given something specific and it has become an all consuming passion. But even more than that, there are those that God has walked down a difficult path of preparation, and although they have given up much, their particular calling still consumes them.
True ministry is not something that we just pick up and try because we think we can. True ministry is birthed by the Holy Spirit. Birth has many facets to it. Any woman who has carried a baby for nine months knows that the entire journey was the most intense experience she has ever been through.
There is the initial excitement when the knowledge first comes that you are pregnant. The plans and dreams begin. All you can see is the possibilities of what a baby is going to bring into your life. You may be a little idealistic, but no one can really teach you the reality of it all – you have to experience it for yourself. Then as the weeks progress, the sickness and fatigue knock you off your feet and you realize your life is not your own. You struggle through knowing that you suffer in order than another might live and although it is more difficult than you thought, you are learning to let go of what is best for you.
As your body changes, you realize that you will not ever be the same as you were before. And you are really powerless to change much of that. And really, everything is changing…the ideas that have been important to you, the way you have been able to relate to those around you, your goals are adjusting, and you begin to understand that those who have not been on this journey really do not understand the magnitude of it all.
As you get closer to the day, it is very likely that although you are thrilled at seeing the face of your little one, your inadequacies have been surfacing and fear may be gripping you…the reality is setting in that everything is going to change…will you be able to handle it…will you make wise choices…will you have all the resources that you need…will you have enough love in your heart?
On top of all of that, you hit that last stride before the birth…and you are exhausted. How in the world am I going to start off taking care of a baby when I’m already spent from the pregnancy? It is here that you have hit that impatient wall. Nothing in you can be at peace until the baby is birthed. You know that there is no turning back and although you feel completely spent, you know the only way out is to finish the journey, whatever it takes.
So when the labor begins, the excitement is renewed. Of course today, we have the ability to block out the pain of childbirth through medication, but truly, anguish comes before the birth. Once we see that sweet face, the anguish, the fears, the hardships are quickly forgotten because joy has entered our hearts like nothing we have ever known.
If God has not taken you through the birthing process of ministry, then you may not be equipped because true ministry is birthed by the Holy Spirit…its the life of Jesus being brought forth from mankind over and over again. Its the way He has chosen to to advance His Kingdom…through weak and frail people that He fills with vision, with purpose, and makes them ready in His timing. The intensity of your birthing pains are in direct correlation with the specific ministry that He is working within you…however, there is not a medicine that can dull the anguish…the anquish is necessary because until the heaviness of the cross is laid upon you, you cannot know the joy that has been set before you. But oh dear one, keep pressing through the anguish because once the ministry has been birthed, nothing will fulfill your heart like the Son!