Have you ever been called to do something that has almost zero chance of success? Do you remember the feelings that came with the task? Isolation. Loneliness. Despair over your inadequacies. Frustration with the lack of progress. I bet the list could go on and on. These feelings can be multiplied by 10 if you are actually "leading" an effort, but as Karen Kingsbury aptly notes, no matter our title we are "called to lead."
There have been more than a few times in my life I have been involved in efforts that were destined for failure. As a matter of fact, some days it feels like that is the story of my life. The battles have been tough and many days I just wanted to curl up in a ball and check out. As I look back though, I realize in many respects I ended up victorious although no one on the outside would like at me and consider me wildly, or even moderately, successful. The victory was the work God did on my heart through the process. He helped me overcome fear and walk completely by faith. I learned obedience, not just to His commandments, but also to His will and purpose for my life in any particular season. To be sure, I still fail quite often and learn many lessons in humility when my ego gets out of check. I wouldn't trade those rough days for the world though, because God uses them to truly refine me.
This week I'm starting The Family of Jesus Bible Study by Karen Kingsbury. I think it is safe to say that no family in history received a tougher assignment than this family. I am excited to get a better perspective on Joseph, Mary and James, to name a few. I was surprised to see James listed as a "doubting brother" because I absolutely love the Book of James in the New Testament. How did James evolve? Did Joseph and Mary ever have doubts? How did they cope? I know many questions will remain unanswered, but I'm looking forward to digging into this study during my lunch hour. Hope to write more about it soon!