The Ones We Lost

Well, I can’t help but cry….

If you’re in ministry or have ever tried to help people on a regular basis, you know what I mean. You can look back and see the ones you “lost”. The ones that just seem to fall off the face of the earth. Why? How can this happen?

I mean, one day you’re talking and you can tell they’re changing, or at least you think they are, and the next moment they won’t even answer your phone calls. Then, weeks or months later, you see them at the store or somewhere in town, and they act as if they don’t really know you. It hurts.

You pour your life, time, energy, and excitement into them, and they just take it and throw it down. Sometimes, they have even made great life changes. All indications seem to point toward great progress, but they just vanish.

There’s just not much comfort in this situation. Scripture tells us that it is simply our job to plant the seed, and God will give the increase and harvest the crop. That thought is liberating, yet I still feel a heaviness over the ones we’ve lost. Names swirl around in my head, and I am left with nothing but an empty spot that could only be filled by God’s grace. You see, even though those that walk away do so under their own volition, I still can’t help but think, what could I have done better, or different.

Then, I read of Jesus. His life was filled with those who walked away. How hurt He must have felt the night He was betrayed into the hands of those who hated Him. As He stood there being mocked and beaten, where were those He healed? Where were those He fed? Where were those who heard His teachings and spoke of His authority? Where were those who just a week before hailed Him as King? Where were those He had eaten His last meal with just hours before?

If King Jesus had those who turned away, why would I think my experience would be any better? Maybe the Way of Jesus is just too hard. Maybe it just doesn’t seem attractive enough? Maybe that is why I find myself turning my back on Him so often. How much I must have hurt my Lord on so many occasions. Again, grace fills the void.

Thanx!

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One Response

  1. Great thoughts Jeff. I was thinking the same sort of thoughts this weekend after some of our members ran into a friend of mine who was doing so good. He was growing, had surrendered to ministry, was really taking off and I was excited to be part of it. Then, like you said, he’s gone. Not anywhere else, just gone. Thanks for reminding us to look to Jesus. It still hurts, and hopefully we can learn from those instances, but it’s encouraging to know that ultimately it’s not about us. I appreciate you!

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