Tonight marks the end of my busiest stretch of ministry each year. We opened our men’s shelter on December 1st, welcoming 12 men to our church each night. Last Saturday we had our annual Glenwood Family Ministries banquet for the children and their families (over 200 people), and tonight we had our annual Community Christmas Banquet for our Wednesday Community Fellowship guests (we served close to 350 people). In the midst of that I’ve also preached 3 times in the past 7 weeks, had ongoing involvement with Glenwood Family Ministries on the board and in tutoring, and had regular work appointments and family responsibilities.
Last night I got home at 10:30 from a board meeting, and I had nothing left. Empty. Done. And I knew that I had not been spending time with Jesus like I should over the past few weeks (busyness will do that to me sometimes) and the banquet was looming. It made me sad that I wasn’t excited for the banquet, that I just wanted it to be done, and I asked God to change my heart.
God in His goodness brought a Scripture to mind that really turned the tables for me – 1 Samuel 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (ESV)
David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. At my point of weariness, with a lack of joy over the upcoming banquet, all I wanted to do was go to bed, but the Spirit reminded me that real rest and strength and refreshment come from Him. And so I spent an hour in the Word, praying, journaling, asking God to give me strength, joy, and love that I just didn’t have.
This morning when I woke up, I had energy, I had life, and I had hope. I had a hunger for the Word while I ate my breakfast, and all day I have anticipated, not dreaded, the Community Christmas Banquet. I can’t explain the power of that verse and how it called me to find strength in the Unseen Source, and I can’t praise God enough for how He met me, carried me, and even empowered me to preach a living word tonight at the banquet.
Maybe you’re wiped out, too. Strengthen yourself in the Lord, your God, and watch what happens. He is mighty and He lives in you, and we cannot exhaust His strength.