Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (NIV)
One of the greatest burdens in ministry, as well as in other counseling or caring professions, is the amount of indifference that you come across from folks you attempt to help or try to support. I can remember in Scotland spending many hours each week with drug addicts and alcoholics trying to enable them to overcome their addiction by inserting faith into their lives. I felt compelled to do this because I had come through the same sort of experiences. I wanted to show them the path to Christ which I had found, for I believed (and still do) that it would potentially enable them to begin again.
Sometimes it worked, but most of the time they reverted to their old ways, habits, and addictions. Looking back, I would say that about 20% changed their lives and today I am still thankful to God for sustaining them. As for the others, they drifted away and some of them ended up dying at an early age. It broke my heart to see this happening.
Over the years, God has allowed me in both Scotland and the U.S. to help others overcome troubles, deal with their addictions, and even avoid going to prison, but the resulting numbers of success are still the same. About 20% are grateful for what God has done in their lives and take every opportunity to serve, worship, and praise Him when they can; four out of every five, however, don’t feel that need to be challenged or changed, faithful or thankful, so they just move on. It’s sad to see, and it still breaks my heart, but no doubt other pastors, counsellors, and caring professionals will feel and say the same.
So, next time you have burden to share with a pastor or a professional counsellor, remember that there is a person behind that title. He or she will certainly do all that they can to help and guide you, but they cannot make you change; only you can do that part. However, please know this: with God’s help, it is less difficult to accomplish.
Question: Have I ever sought help from a pastor or a counselor? Do I pray for them?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our Guide and Comforter, but You also provide caring counselors and loving leaders to help us through challenging times. May we not take them for granted by keeping them in our prayers. In Your Holy Name, we humbly ask. Amen.