This true story from our guest blogger Linda Lesniewski.
"I had a life changing and ministry changing experience almost a decade ago. It resulted from a mission trip to a third world country. My assignment sent me to the home of a pastor and his wife. Within a short time I realized the pastor’s wife was experiencing a personal crisis. With patience, prayer, and the assistance of an interpreter, I learned that she believed she was dying and no one would tell her. The doctors told her she was well even though she didn’t feel well. I soon discovered she’d had a hysterectomy and had received no information or hormonal support for the resulting menopausal symptoms.
This pastor’s wife struggled with the responsibilities of leading the women of the church as well as the children’s missions program, while coping with these symptoms and depression. Her only resources were her faith and a small worn Bible. She considered even a pencil or a piece of paper a luxury. In addition, her feet ached with bunions yet she and her husband regularly walked to visit church members in her only pair of shoes—shoes with hard soles and heels. The old scooter they owned needed repairs, but they had no funds.
On the flight home I felt guilty about the abundance of resources I had access to for ministry. I also pointed out to the Lord this woman’s plight and the challenges she faced as she ministered. I told the Lord how unfair it all was. I had shelves of Bibles, internet access, a car, DVD’s for leadership equipping, a budget for ministry, training opportunities, medical resources for personal health….
It was then God interrupted my complaining with a gripping directive from His Word, a principle from Luke that I knew but hadn’t applied to my own life or ministry, Much will be required of everyone who has been given much (Luke 12:48)HCSB. This dear woman was only accountable to God for the resources He’d entrusted to her. But the same principle was also true for me. Within moments, I reversed my whining. "Lord, that’s not fair either! I didn’t ask to be born in a prosperous country or to have access to educational opportunities and ministry resources.” The concept of God entrusting me with these things and the responsibility of stewarding all He had entrusted to me burned into my mind and heart as I saw myself standing before the throne of God giving account of how I had used them. I sat quietly the rest of the flight home. And, I’ve lived much more intentionally since that trip. I’ve strived to be more aware of everything at my disposal and to look for ways to multiply its effectiveness.
What resource has God entrusted to you that you haven’t yet utilized? What opportunities have you passed over? Do you have talents or skill sets you haven’t developed? When each of us expands the traditional concept of financial stewardship to every resource God has made available to us, how we see and do ministry will be forever changed!"