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Unread 06-06-2014, 04:50 AM   #1
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Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 541
My Greatest Failure

2 Corinthians 12:9

English Standard Version (ESV)

9 But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

After two decades of working in churches helping in the area of leading worship as a volunteer then moving six years ago into full time ministry as a Youth Pastor, I have come to the conclusion that my life is not what it seems.

In fact my life has never been what it seemed!

As a young minister starting out, i was very unsure of myself and my abilities. My fears of doing or saying the wrong thing or making poor choices in leading young people would cripple me so much that all i would do for weeks on end would be to throw myself into the, 'worship leader mode', a mode i knew very well.

But this was a huge weakness for me, i did not have anyone in youth ministry to guide me through these trials. I made the stupid mistakes of rejecting the opportunities to network with other youth leaders, because i didn't like their theology.

After just one year in the Job i felt God speak to my heart that i was to quit the worship ministry altogether for a season and remove the instruments from my office so that i would not use them as a crutch when i was struggling with youth work.

This is when i began to find out who i really was, i began to see all of my flaws, failures and weaknesses.

It brought me back to a time in my life where i had begun leading worship, as a newbie to this role i had a great fear of looking out at people when i would sing. I think i feared their disapproval more than anything. This was becoming quite debilitating until a wonderful Pastor's wife kept giving me encouragement and scriptures to overcome this problem. It was in that season of my life that i first read 2 Corinthians 12:9; and understood it.

You see if you go back and re-read what is in the previous paragraph's you will see a recurring theme...the words i, me and my!

I had no real understanding of how sufficient His grace really was, i feared all of my weaknesses and never rested in the power of Jesus Christ.

Discovering your ministry, calling or purpose in life is key in discovering your greatest fears, failures and weaknesses. My greatest failure and weakness at that time in my life was not applying this verse in it's fullness to all walks of my life.

As i continued on over the next few years up until December 2013, i never really got over or dealt with the feelings of having to prove myself everyday. If i took time off i felt guilty and that i was letting the church down, my family suffered, friendships were non-existent, holiday's with the family were a bind, i took on children's work in 2010, then started a children's club in 2012, began working in schools in 2012 as a chaplain on Friday's. Then in January 2013 helped by leading worship at a new monthly event. All of this on top of my current youth pastor role. I was on fire.......again their is that word i.i.i!

In November 2012 our family suffered a very sickening loss of our six year old nephew to a form of meningitis and for that month of trauma through various ops, procedures and amputations he lasted thirty days until the Lord took him home.

Trying to deal with trauma.... in fact i never dealt with it at all i just got busy again.

Until in December 2013 i was finished, my life had closed in on me, all the dreams i had were gone, the vision for youth had gone, i could see no way out except a recurring dream i had been having for a several months of dropping myself from a bridge at a local country park. I was finished......or so i thought.

My wife in her wisdom spoke to our leaders and i manged to go to the doctors who signed me off work for as long as he felt it would take. I found myself retiring to my room and lived up there for weeks. I still to this day cannot tell you what was going on in the life of my family or with the youth and kids work. I can't even remember Christmas, i saw no-one and even got to the place that if i heard someone at the door i would go to my room and hide their until they had gone.

My wife feared returning to work on her two days a week that she had a family friend drop by randomly with groceries on a spying mission. She even kept my daughter Eilidh off school for a day when she was at work so that it forced me to look after her.

If you will allow me to skip ahead a few months until March simply because I cannot remember December, January or February except watching all seasons of the West Wing and Grey's Anatomy! In March i began to feel almost human again and after work with the Doctor and CPN on a weekly basis my life was getting back to where i began to enjoy my family for the first time in years, i felt like i had time to give them. My wife looked more beautiful than ever, my love for plants, flowers and my garden was back, creation began to speak of God's glory again. I had my humor back (not sure for the rest of you if that's a good thing). My love for God never was in question but the time for spending time with God just because He is God and not because i needed to prepare a sermon was taking a more constructive place in my life.

I sensed that i was to get back to simply His calling and not trying to prove myself by making myself do everything i possibly could. Now whilst this journey of recovery is slow and i returned to work a few weeks ago easing myself in, i finally got the point that 2 Corinthians 12:9 was saying, That my weakness was a way of showing less of me and more of Him.

Where i was running from dealing with weakness, what i was actually doing was removing the chance for Christ to shine even greater.

This past Sunday as i was getting ready to leave a dear brother spoke a word into my life who had been praying for me and he said, that he felt that i had been trying to justify my role within the church. I thanked Him and was saddened and realised that it is God who justifies us and that i no longer need to feel like that but go forth into what God has prepared for me and my family.

I have said it before, 'A busy minister is not always an obedient one'.

My hope is that whatever your facing you also learn to celebrate God in your weaknesses and let it be more of Him and less of us. My longing is where i am no longer saying i,i,i because i am so wrapped up with my own busyness.

Now it's time for Him, Him, Him, to be high and lifted up.

Every Blessing

Pastor Gary

The things we laugh and joke about
Are the things we scream and shout about
And the things we rip and tear apart
Are the things we held closest to our heart.
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Unread 06-07-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
Chur Bro
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Joined: Feb 2004
Location: New Zealand, Fiji
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Good post bro.

Yeah ive struggled with the trying to justify myself thing too. And its a total truth that only God can do it.

Your wife must be a very special person.
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Unread 06-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
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Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 541
She is my friend and I never realised how much until coming through what I have
The things we laugh and joke about
Are the things we scream and shout about
And the things we rip and tear apart
Are the things we held closest to our heart.
smudge is offline   Reply With Quote

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