It is interesting to me that after 23 years of serving the Lord, that I am finally admitting that this thing called “ministry” has it’s ups and downs. “Pit to the Palace” is a workshop that I lead at conferences designed to help kid ministry workers navigate their way back to the palace in times difficulty, disorder, pain, trails and suffering.
I have not only experienced life in the pit personally and survived, I have the privilege of networking with Kid Ministry workers across the nation and praying with families in my own church who have spent their fair share of time residing in the pit of pain.
What I have come to know these past few years that many of us, kid ministry workers, suffer in silence and in isolation. It was only after sitting with friend after friend, that my brothers and sisters in Christ become transparent regarding their trials. I was shocked that they too experienced the pit caused by pain. I concluded many hid their problems and wore a mask called, “I’m okay.” We are ashamed of our circumstances and feel that we will be judged harshly if we admit to having problems. After all, we are church volunteers or are on staff and we need to be an example to those we serve. I lived that lie for for over 15 years. I allowed my trials to confuse my mind about the power that our Lord Jesus Christ possesses. I didn’t comprehend what it meant to have faith as I hoped in people and my unique strengths rather than our Lord. I limited God’s divine power and forgot what Hebrews says about faith:
Hebrews 11:1 “ Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
When we are in the pit, what do we pray for? I know I prayed… relief from the pain. What keeps us functioning? Hope. There’s a motivational quote that states, “A man can live about 40 days without food, about 3 days without water, about 8 minutes without air, but not for 1 second without hope.”
The Lord blessed us, gifted us, gave freely to us, examples of people in the Bible who had great faith:
- Enoch – taken up to heaven without dying. He was known as a person who pleased God.
- Noah – built a boat by faith and saved his family from the flood.
- Sarah – she believed by faith that she was able to have a child in her old age.
- Abraham – offered Isaac as an offering.
- Isaac – it was by faith he promised blessings for the future of his sons Esau and Jacob.
- Moses – by faith he chose to suffer, left the land of Egypt and parted the Red Sea.
- Rahab – she gave friendly welcome to spies and was not destroyed with the people in her city.
There are many more examples of God’s power and promises all through scripture. I was too busy trying to survive, protect, and function to notice and truly claim His promises and to appropriately apply them to my life. So…..God allowed me to experience a life storm and ultimately my residence for a couple years, was in the pit of pain and suffering. What I now know about storms is that though they are fueled by strong winds, dark skies, even thunder and lightening, they don’t last forever. “…there is joy in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Bottom line, when something difficult comes at you, realize that your faith is being tested. It is only through the test is how you’ll learn to depend on our King. Each test serves to help us deal with the next test or trail, if we abide and follow the Lord’s instructions.
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
Author, Debbie Alsdorf’, inspired me and helped me focus on His purpose in my life in her book, Faith Dare. She bullet points the following statements about trials that kept me focused on the Lord’s promises and helped me inch and claw my way out of the pit and back into the palace:
- Trials are tests of what you believe.
- You are to rejoice in the fire of the trial.
- You are to believe that God knows about the test or trial.
- You are to believe that God is with you in the test or trial.
- You are to believe that God has the power to change you through the test or trial.
- You are to believe that since God is good, all his dealing with you is good – even in test or trials.
If you are in the pit today, whether the pain was self imposed or you are a victim of innocent suffering, I pray you can realize that there are others like you, that have their own Pit to Palace story. You are not alone. Jesus’ life is the prime example we could all glean from. Allow the Lord to minister to you right now and help you surrender all your burdens. Starting today and everyday pray for healing. Keep asking the Lord what is it that He is trying to show you through this, who do you need to forgive and ask Him to remind you of the many promises in His word. God allowed this in your life for a heavenly reason. What is happening to you, the Lord is working through you. Once you accept that fact, you’re one step closer to the palace.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
If you had full anonymity…would you agree that ministry is hard?
If you had full anonymity…what else would you share with me?
Why does anonymity make a difference?
You do have anonymity and you have a safe place in Jesus. Turn and fully surrender to Him. You’ll find your way back to the palace.
Here’s the link to Debbie’s book “Faith Dare”