I am exhausted. Actually, I am anticipating being exhausted. In order for you to read this column today, I’ve written it several days in advance.
Tonight is the final night of vacation Bible school at my church. For the last five evenings we have taught, entertained, fed, and watched 150-200 girls and boys under the age of 13.
I don’t teach any specific grade of children. I don’t lead in recreation or worship, nor do I do any of the cooking. We have a director who has done the majority of the organizing and preparing for this week. Still, as the pastor, much of the responsibility for the week falls on my shoulders. And I find that tiring.
Can I share something with you? I love my job. I really do. I am grateful that God called me to be a pastor, and I am thankful that he has been with me for the last 35 years as I have sought to do that well.
I am blessed, and I know it.
Still, there are some of the things that come with the task of being a pastor that are harder than others. Certainly helping a family through the illness and death of a loved one is never an easy task. Helping other families through conflict is also a challenge. How can an imperfect father and husband help others fulfill their roles?
As I mentioned, I’m tired today. But it’s a good tired. I’ve watched boys and girls smile and laugh as they arrive for the night. They have sung and played and listened and learned.
We all have times and events in our lives that test and try us. The prevailing philosophy is, "Grin and bear it."
But the children of God can do better than that. We can face trying times with joy, because we know the Lord is with us. Even when we feel alone, we are not.
And because the Lord is with me, as Paul wrote to the Philippians, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
And that is enough.