During a difficult season of our marriage, my husband and I began the deep work of healing which involved a significant investment in our mental health. Recently in one of our sessions with our therapist, we did as we always do: We checked in with how we were feeling.
When Paul wrote to the church in Rome, he began his letter by saying that he was “a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle.” The word called in this verse carries a sense of purpose, intent, and direction. When Paul heard God’s divine call on the road to Damascus, he was flooded with a powerful sense of destiny.
There are a variety of human responses to pain. Some people, when faced with suffering, soar. But for others—maybe even for you—suffering can drive our faith into the ground. It deeply impacts our walk with God, and not always in a positive way.
The hours we’d traveled seemed to melt away as our team of eight pulled up at the small Paraguayan church. We had come to visit a missionary our church had sent two years prior. She was so happy to see us, and their whole congregation was excited to see what God would do during our time together.
It took me a little while to accept that I am a leader. Our pastor and director of Jesus Culture,
Banning Liebscher, would call me into his office and challenge me to grow in certain areas. I
would complain and push back, upset that I felt like more was being required of me than others
on our team. He would say, “Yes! More is required of you because of your leadership calling!”
I would concede and push and stretch myself towards growth.
So much of our social media frenzy is fed by filtered pictures and half-truths, meant to arouse envy, provoke anger, or inspire greed. Looking back on my own social media history, I wince at how self-focused, prideful, and image-obsessed my posts were, prior to God’s searing conviction to use any influence He gave me for His glory.