Zucchini and tomatoes sizzled in the pan as Bridget added garlic and spices, stirring with a wooden spoon. The cold autumn wind rattled the windows, but inside our kitchen it was warm and cozy. It was my first week teaching at this Bible school in Germany, and I was talking with one of the staff about some challenges of full-time ministry.
“Why do we feel we have to keep up a certain image?” Bridget asked as she served steaming dishes of pasta and vegetables. “People look at us in ministry and think we never have problems. But we’re real people too!”
Real People No Matter Where They Live
In North America, Europe, or Asia, the issues are the same. Christians feel like they can’t let anyone see their weaknesses. But what if I’m having a bad day? What if I’m feeling lonely or discouraged or frustrated or angry? Do I paste on a happy face like nothing’s wrong? Is it okay to be honest about my struggles?
Jesus had real emotions. He got angry at the sellers in the temple. And He was grieved at the death of his friend, Lazarus. He was in “agony of spirit” as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing He would soon suffer a cruel death (Matthew 26:37-38).
David says, “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart” (Psalm 9:1). To me, ‘whole heart’ means all my emotions – even my negative feelings, even my struggles. It does not do any good to pretend like everything’s perfect when it’s not. God accepts us in our weaknesses. He wants us to be honest, to come before Him with everything we are. So let’s get real! Pour out your heart to the Lord!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with us in our weakness. But we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”