One of the hardest things about ministry is that it is rarely convenient. Sure, there are volunteer events that can be scheduled on the calendar and can be anticipated. But ministry often comes in those sudden instances when someone needs help NOW, and you need to decide whether you are able and willing to help.
This is especially hard for a "planner" like me who normally has expectations for the day ahead. Usually the things that come up involve my husband's time and me having to adjust to keep the family running without him. However, this week the opportunity was placed in my hands...
I got a call on Wednesday that a woman from our church who I had recently formed a relationship with was in the hospital. I knew she did not have a good support system. I called up a friend and we decided to make a short visit that afternoon. Making hospital visits is not common for me. I did not know what to expect and felt quite uncomfortable, but I knew I needed to go. I was not prepared for what I saw. This new friend of mine had a breathing tube which left her unable to speak, and was in pain. She was scared and alone. We spoke encouraging words and prayed for her, hoping that we were bringing some comfort. I was glad we had made the time to visit. Good deed done for the day...check :)
Then came Thursday morning. I had my to-do list ready and expectations for what I would accomplish. I had been behind on a bible study I was working through and needed to figure out what I was going to write about this week. There were bills, laundry, and meal prep that needed to be done. Yet my mind kept coming back to this woman in the hospital. I tried to push the thoughts away. After all, I had already done my "good deed", right? What if she was still intubated...what else could I say? What about all the things that I wanted to do? What ended up convicting me was the thought that I might give up the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus with an excuse of needing to finish my Bible study! Hello...who cares if I know the Word if I don't live it out !?! So I spent my morning creating music CDs, cutting flowers, and choosing a book to take along with me to the hospital. My kids got to go to work with daddy (one perk of my husband's job) and I took the time to bless someone who was in great need of further encouragement.
I don't say all this to pat myself on the back. I'm sure I've missed plenty of ministry opportunities due to selfishness. I'm sharing this story to remind us all that it's so easy to get our priorities out of whack. I'm so thankful that this time I was able to see the big picture and say "yes" to what was truly important.