A few days ago, I almost walked away from this ministry.
I was reviewing the ministry’s marketing analytics (trends, traffic, likes), on all of our platforms and the results were discouraging and disappointing. From the statistics…we weren’t doing well.
In my heart, I believed that the statistics reflected a lack of special anointing on this space and I felt like not only had I had failed myself but I had failed God too in a ministry that He had entrusted to me.
I related to the gardener mentioned in Luke 13: 6 – 9 who after inspecting his fig tree that was not producing fruit for three years, decided to “chop it down!”
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
God funnily used my partner to speak wisdom into my life as he challenged me to consider the statistics through different lenses.
He asked me; “Have you considered doing things differently?”
Many times, failure in our eyes is a simple invitation to do things differently or challenge our approach that we may have become used to.
But no amount of wisdom can top God’s as God whispered to me after I prayed:
Let’s give it another year.
I knew from His response even though it didn’t make sense, my duty was to obediently continue pouring into this ministry.
Sometimes, our expectations for ministry do not pan out as we envision. We dutifully sow seeds of our talent and time into a person, space or place that God has assigned us to…only to reap nothing or gain nothing in return.
And it hurts, because the natural man, expects a return on investment in everything he dedicates himself to.
My mind drifts to Noah who preached for 120 years without any inclination that what he was delivering was reaching the hearts and minds of those around him. Instead of conviction, he was met with opposition and ridicule…still with faith alone, he continued to preach God’s warning.
Sometimes, our only reason for continuing a project, calling or task is simple obedience. And this is what God desires – our obedience.
Moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (I Corinthians 4:2).
And faithfulness to God may not always strike a responsive chord in your audience or manifest itself in increased likes, shares and retweets; it may simply just generate a nod from God.
And that approval is everything.
What I particularly like about Noah’s testimony and dance with momentary failure is that the Noah who began building the ark at the beginning of his assignment, was a completely different Noah at the end of the assignment.
He was a righteous man; the only blameless man to walk the earth at that time.
Sometimes, the assignment is not for us to build the kingdom of God externally but rather for the task, project or calling to build us up internally instead.
What has your brush with ‘failure’ revealed to you this week? Is it time to reassess your way of working and doing things? Is it time to focus solely on being obedient to God or cultivate a thankful heart for what He is doing in you to better manifest Himself through you?
Let me know!
(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette