I Hate Disappointing Others

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Unless you’re a Pastor you might not fully understand the following. I’ve been in the ministry for 25 years. I’m not just used to being there for people, but I love being there for people. I know I’ve been called by God. Therefore helping people find peace with God runs deep through my veins. However, a lot has drastically changed since I started being a Pastor.

I’m presently Pastor of one of the largest churches in our county or surrounding area. By, the grace of God I’m still able to preach most Sundays. However, I have missed nearly 5 months of preaching due to 3 different back surgeries in just the past 24 months alone. What I used to be able to do during the week no longer takes place because of permanent nerve damage throughout my lower body. I used to meet countless people for counseling, comfort, and just to provide a much needed ministry of presence. I used to be there for people when no one else did or cared enough to be. Yet, for the past 2 1/2 years I’ve had to learn how to care for people from my literal bed. 

It’s been over 31 months and counting since I’ve been cleared by a doctor to go back to work. For a good while I’ve grieved over my limitations. I’m constantly having to say no to crisis counseling, funerals, weddings, and hospital visits. I’m simply not able to be there for people when they need me most. I was used to seeing an average of 20-25 people per week at their sick bedside. Now, I don’t even see that many in a year. I’ve sought to equip everyone around me to help care for others. But, in my heart I feel I’ve let down hundreds of people during this time of chronic illness. 

Yes, I know I’m not Jesus or God. But, you must understand ministry is in my blood. I deeply care about people and I feel called to be there for people. It’s so much more than a job to me. It’s a joy and a passion put in my heart by God. My heart still cries for what I can’t do or provide for those going through difficult times. I do the best I can from my sick bedside to pray and minister to others. However, I’ve been forced by my health issues to acknowledge and respect my limitations. I thank God for the multitude who have loved and supported me despite my illness.

“Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself.”

Galatians 4:13-14

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