I have been asked about the title of this blog – “what do you mean by “lonely”? Let me clarify, lest someone get hung up in the wrong “perception”…
I have a loving wife in Diana who indeed fulfills the example of “an help-mate” as God created wives to be. I have two absolutely awesome daughters that mean the world to me in Anna and Selah that give me great joy. I have a family spread out in all directions that I love and respect, as well as a circle of friends both in and out of the ministry who support me, pray for me, and lift me up.
But most importantly, I have a Savior who died to set me free from sin. Who paid my debt in full through His precious blood, and who has indeed sent the Great Comforter, the Holy Spirit – who dwells in me, and who is with me always. This is MY Savior, who promised to never leave me or forsake me – so I totally understand that I am never ever TRULY alone!
But in this world of ministry, especially when serving as the only pastor/staff, of a small and spread out congregation, separated by miles from the nearest other pastor who can grasp the specific context I minister in.
Some have described pastoring as standing as an “island in the sea”. It has taken me quite some time to begin to wrap my mind around that illustration. Another way of describing it – think about your own local church. Everyone has a pastor… except for one person: the pastor.
Not a day goes by that the Lord skips showing me His goodness and grace. Indeed, not a day goes by that I am short of things to be thankful for.
And while I have never been asked to suffer as the Apostle Paul suffered for the sake of the Gospel, I do understand day-by-day at least in a small part, just how difficult and how “lonely” ministry can be.
But I also have the confidence and the surety that I am exactly where the LORD wants me, doing exactly what HE wants me too! And for that, I wouldn’t trade a thing!