So, I’ve got a question for you…
You know how some people like for Jesus to “take the wheel?” You know, be their driver in life?
I guess that’s a nice sentiment. Surrender, obedience and all that. Maybe you like that Carrie Underwood song. Maybe you like to think of Jesus as your driver.
Even if you never have thought of Jesus that way, many of you, my readers, have been at least trying to be Christians for a long time. We’re trying to be Christ followers, disciples, whatever you like to call it. Maybe we even let Jesus be our chauffeur around town…
But have you ever felt like Jesus took the wheel…and then drove your car into a ditch?
Ministry In the Ditch
Just this week, I got to talk to two pastors about my age. They’re good guys. They love Jesus. They’ve tried to be faithful in ministry. They aren’t in it for money or fame.
And they feel like their ministries are stuck. Almost like doing things Jesus’ way isn’t working and the ministry is in a ditch.
I totally knew what they meant…because I started finishing their sentences. It’s so easy to look at some guy who turned out to be a really crappy leader, and ask why God blessed him and not me. Then you start asking what’s wrong with me? Why can Pastor Toolbox work miracles and raise millions of dollars while I try to do things Jesus’ way, and it gets me nowhere?
And I’ve talked to so many pastors who just had to abandon the car in the ditch. Despite their zeal to see people know Jesus, they burned out, and had to hitchhike somewhere else.
Life in the Ditch
I’ve also talked to a lot of people outside of ministry. Hard working Christians who are just trying to get it together. And despite all the prayers and devotion, life is just one crisis after another. People can’t get out of unemployment or out of debt or get out of the hospital for very long before something else strikes. Why is it that people flock to charlatans, but hard working, intelligent people are ignored in every workplace and walk of life? I’m not talking about genuine persecution, but just the general sense I get from so many people that life kind of sucks, despite lifelong devotion to God.
I’ve talked to people who have made enormous life decisions based on what they felt was the voice of God. They moved to a new city, married someone, took a job, tried to start a new ministry. And then everything backfired. They felt like they were led into a trap. Things just fell apart.
Jesus Gets His License Revoked
This is one of those posts where I don’t have a definite answer. I’d love one from you.
Some of you are probably thinking that people whose life sucks have some hidden sin in their life.
Or maybe the answer is they aren’t really following Jesus. Or Jesus is allowing them to be tested. Or someone didn’t actually hear from Jesus and just made a stupid mistake.
Maybe those are the answers. But I don’t know. Because it sure seems to me that there’s a lot of people who are stuck in a ditch. I guess that’s a consolation: a lot of us are in the same ditch.
Tell me about it: have you ever felt like Jesus drove you into a ditch? Despite your best intentions, your hardest work, your most sincere devotion, have you ever found yourself stuck? Did Jesus lead you there or is God never responsible when the car crashes? How did you get out?