Updated: Oct 30, 2020
During these trying times, it is easy to give up...but don't.
There are many of you...myself included...that are struggling during this time. Events and activities that we normally plan are either canceled or changed significantly.
Life isn't "ministry as usual!"
I have been struggling with a large event that I host each year...a Christmas gift program for families in need.
The event brings in a lot of children who select gifts for each member of the family. They wrap their gifts and take them home to be placed under their trees...lots of touching going on.
Hosting the event indoors has been ruled out (restrictions that each venue has set for themselves...and completely understandable) Therefore, the event must be done outdoors...with lots of changes being made.
At first, I was discouraged and overwhelmed... I even thought about canceling the event this year and picking back up next year.
However, the thought of disappointing the children and the vision of families waking up on Christmas morning without any gifts kept me going...and I'm glad that I did!
This has been a huge wrestling match for me...what to do?
I had a few ideas...and some workable solutions...if push came to shove...but nothing appealed to me...nothing jumped out...nothing seemed like "ministry as usual."
But that all changed yesterday while relaxing and watching a Christmas movie (yes, I am one of those sappy Hallmark Christmas movie people).
God gave me a new vision for one of my ideas...first a concept...and then an idea...and then another...an another. I couldn't write down the ideas as fast as they were coming.
I had already decided that a drive-thru event where families simply pick up their pre-selected, pre-wrapped gifts would be my only option (far too many gifts to set up outside and it takes a full week to prepare)...but I wanted to do more. I wanted to make it special...I wanted to make it "ministry as usual."
Now, with a fresh perspective (a God perspective) I feel as if the event will actually turn out exciting...and hopefully, the kids won't be disappointed with not getting to select their own gifts.
It may not be as big this year...it may not be what I would prefer...it may not be as exciting for the children...but it will be God lead...and Spirit-filled. So it will be PERFECT!
When times get hard, when we face challenge after challenge, when we have no idea what to do...we can't let discouragement defeat us. We can't let people, obstacles, setbacks define our ministry...or us.
We also have to, remember (especially during these trying times) that sometimes canceling an event is the RIGHT thing to do.
When we are trying, trying, trying...and nothing is working...perhaps God's answer is NO! Perhaps God has different plans or, perhaps God is trying to stretch and lead us in a new direction.
We can't be afraid to switch it up. We can't be afraid to cancel or re-schedule an event. We can't be afraid to switch out some of our normal activities with new ones. And most important of all...we can't forget to put God in the driver's seat.
Canceling, re-schedule, or switching it up is not a failure! It's wisdom...it's being in tune with God's will.
Give it to God, bathe it in prayer, explore every option, exhaust every opportunity, let God work...and be a peace with your decision.
Don't let one event...one season...one moment in time define you. Don't let it discourage you or stop you from trying...never give up!!!
Praying for you this morning...
Have a super blessed day!