Lenten Devo: Are You Near Giving Up?

Experiencing Hell In Youth Ministry

Job Chapter 1:20-22 Common English Bible (CEB)

20Job arose, tore his clothes, shaved his head, fell to the ground, and worshipped. 21He said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb; naked I will return there. The Lord has given; the Lord has taken; bless the Lord’s name.” 22In all this, Job didn’t sin or blame God.

Have you ever been broken?  I mean have you ever really been broken.  Not, Things are super tight this month, and I’m not sure how we are going to make it until we get paid again.  I am talking about you have nothing more to give.  The bottom of the barrel seems like a step up. The  glass is no longer half full, its empty!  I wonder until we have ever been broken, if we truly can get what it means to be whole.  I wonder if we can really be stretched to our greatest capacity, until we have been broken. I wonder if we can truly understand God’s Love for us, until we have no more to give of our own?  These are the things that go through my ADD mind these days. 

I look at people like Job, who as Job 1:8 tells us “surely there is no one like him on earth, a man who is honest, who is of absolute integrity, who reveres God and avoids evil”. I wonder if I, after loosing everything I own and love, would still be a man who as verse 22 states” didn’t sin or blame God.” In fact Job was so blameless in the first part of the book that God actually says to the “Adversary,”  “Have you thought about my servant Job?”

We see this again in people like Nehemiah, Moses and Mother Theresa, people given far more broken tasks than I face on a regular basis, and yet they don’t sin or blame God.

I want to offer you this encouragement on this day of your Lenten journey.   Be Brave. Be Faithful. Don’t allow the basics of youth ministry to be good enough.  Challenge yourself, stretch your imagination, and when you think you have given it all you have, Give it to God.  Really it should have been HIS from the beginning, but let’s be honest some days that is easier to say than to do.

Friends, when we find ourselves at the lowest places in our ministry, Hardest Moments in our personal lives, or the times we want to quit on our gym memberships; those places are the ones where God is still waiting for us.  I might stop and ask you, did you really think God left?  or might you have turned around and ran away, just like Jonah, when it seemed a bit overwhelming? When you reach the absolute bottom, be thankful that someone already went to the cross. It means you and I get another day to look up.

Blessings On your Lenten Journey,

Cody Bauman

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