Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Substantial Healing: Vocational!

Reading time: two minutes. “Go back the way you came” (1 Kings 19:15).  That’s what the Lord told Elijah after lifting him up from under the broom tree with the still, small voice of substantial vocational healing.  “Get up, Elijah.  You’re not done yet.  Eat.  Rest.  Hear a word from your God.  Get a partner for the ministry.  Return to the harvest field.”  It’s my favorite verse from a great story of God restoring a broken church worker and sending him back to the mission field. Humans make the best church workers.  Not angels.  Not “saints”; flawless and without chinks in their armor.  Real, live, flesh and blood humans, wounded, blessed, healed, with all their scars, infirmities and trust in a powerful God make the best ambassadors of the gospel. Remember Acts 14:15, where the people of Lystra thought Barnabas and Paul were gods and the Apostle shouted, “We too are only men, human like you!”  Don’t be surprised when the stresses and strains of ministry take their toll on you once and a while.  This vocation is hard.  It’s very hard. Remember that self-care is not selfish.  Gospel servants pay attention to their own wellbeing for the sake of their ministry and those they serve. Vocational self-care begins with self awareness.  We need to be constantly vigilant, taking quiet moments before the Lord and asking with all openness and honesty, “How am I doing?”  Have I suffered disappointments lately from ministry dreams that have not come to fruition or people who have let me down?  Have I taken time to grieve and process the hurt and seek the Lord’s healing touch?  If not, I’m not ready to plunge back into the work of the calling. If you haven’t lately, take a look at the substantial healing Elijah received at his mountaintop retreat in 1 Kings 19.  He wasn’t perfect after his retreat, but he was stronger than when he arrived.  He still bore the scars of the anxieties and disappointments that drove him to his retreat, but he had also experienced the Lord’s healing touch. When you’re hurting (notice, I didn’t say IF you’re hurting) take a retreat.  For the sake of your vocation and those you serve, tend to your spiritual life with the time of solitude, prayer and the Word that you need to find substantial healing.  For the sake of your calling, tend to your family life and friendships.  For the sake of your calling, find physical refreshment through rest or exercise or recreation. It’s not being selfish; it’s being human.  And humans make the best ministers. Thanks for reading. Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region?  We’d love to hear from you.  Contact our President/CEO Randy Fauser today to begin exploring the possibilities.  Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!