Sighs and Tears

It began about 3 days ago as a small thought. From there it slowly began to grow. This thought of doubt. Not in God, but in where He is on my priority list. I was reading 83 Lost Sheep and in chapter 4 the author talks about the time he gave up his Harley to God. He sold it and put the money from the sale into missions. He talks about how it was like his fatted calf. In the bible days, a fatted calf was one of the most valuable things a person owned, and it was good to own one. You only slaughtered the fatted calf for the most important of things. And sometimes it was hard to do. Gerry’s fatted calf was his bike.

It got me thinking. What’s my fatted calf? And I honestly couldn’t tell you. That started Sun. Monday a barely gave it any thought. Tuesday I was teaching that chapter to our student leaders. And I started thinking about it again. But again, I wasn’t sure what my fatted calf was. It bothered me because it wasn’t a “I don’t have anything that I hold higher to god that I might need to give up for him”, but a “I can’t figure out what that thing is. I know it’s there, but I just don’t know.”

I held it together and faked it for a while that afternoon/night (though not that well apparently, my best friend looked at me after wings and said that he could tell I wasn’t feeling myself.)

To help me sort out my thoughts and feelings, I went for a drive. It was on that drive that this thought popped into my mind, “what if my fatted calf was my work with the youth group?”. Would I be able to give that up? And the scariest part of that thought was that my answer wasn’t a resounding “YES!”. In other words, if God called me to step down from youth ministry right now, could I do it? And my answer was “I don’t know”. I don’t know what this means for me and for my work with the youth group. It might be a thought that God is placing in my head to get my attention and to refocus me on Him, or maybe He is asking me to give it up. I just don’t know.

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6 comments on “Sighs and Tears

  1. God has given you a passion for the youth, Joel. There’s no doubt about that. It can be terrifying to think that He would ask us to give up that which we are most passionate about. And sometimes He does. But remember who put that fire in you in the first place. He doesn’t do those things without purpose. No action, no command is flippant. Trust that and know that if you ever are asked to sacrifice that fatted calf He’s got something better in store.
    And sometimes just be willing is enough.

    • “A willing and a contrite heart”. Sometimes it’s not so much what we do, but the ‘why’ and ‘how’ we do whatever it is … “goes to motive”, as the lawyers like to say.

      p.s.: Dana Beth: I see a ‘like’ button!

  2. I agree with Chris. God has called you to youth ministry, and through that you are serving, and concentrating on him. I understand what you are saying, but youth ministry and a Harley are very different. What you do with the youth is awesome, Joel!

  3. sometimes we are asked to give something up in the FORM we have known it or built it so that God can add capacity and expand it. I like Isaiah 6 for looking at this phenomena….in the year that king Uziah died I SAW THE LORD HIGH AND LIFTED UP AND HIS TRAIN FILLING THE TEMPLE……
    the question for me is more often who has become my king uziah?
    Annointing is irrevocable… but it’s expansion does seem to come with fresh encounters with God that cause a crisis in what we have formerly believed and then we SEE larger.

    I have folded up my tent many times and it always surprises me how large He opens it back up when I die to keeping it the way I thought it would be. There is always RISK involved of losing the old ways as obedience is better than sacrifice.
    be confident that he is for you and the passion he has placed within you. N

  4. You are a true servant Joel…and if God is asking you to give up the youth it’s because he is (or will soon be) calling you to a different area of service in His Kingdom.

    I support you and whatever you feel God is leading you towards. Love you brother!

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