SO MUCH TO DO—What Do I Do with the Pressure?

As a ministry leader or Pastor’s wife, there is always a pile of things to do. When there is more to get done than humanly possible, we tend to want to either retreat or plow through just to get things done.  We are generally wired to respond one way or the other. If I am a “plow through” kind of person, I can miss details and hearing from the Lord about how He really wants to use me in the task at hand.  If I am a procrastinator,  I may see more details but not finish in a timely manner for both others and the Lord’s timing and miss a window of time that He had intended.

woman tending to rose garden

As a Pastor’s wife, sometimes what stops me is that it seems everyone is watching. They watch for different reasons.  Some watch to learn.  Others watch to compare. Both of these reasons can be useful for their growth and my growth.  When it gets rough is when someone is critical just to feel better about themselves.  Is there someone who could do a better job than me? Surely.  But if I am the one God has enlisted for the task, I need to keep my eyes on Him and do what He has called me to do.  I remind myself that He didn’t call me because I am perfect for the job. He called me because I am willing and able.  He will do the rest, and He will do it best. Willing and able is not a “second best option” in God’s eyes.  Being willing gives God the chance to get the glory as I get out of His way.

Once during Vacation Bible School I was the one willing to lead kids through the kids’ worship songs, and I knew I needed to step up.  I decided to worship myself, and see if kids would follow.  Some did follow, and others did not.  I knew I was not the best one for the job, but did everyone else see it too? Were the other group leaders feeling that this was a disaster, or was this in my head? I could beat myself up with the fact that someone else was more qualified, or I could trust that I was put in that position by God for a reason.  There will often be someone more qualified. My own comparisons to others can also build insecurity in myself.  It can be a place where I get lost in feeling I am not enough.  I have to guard against feeling defeated if someone doesn’t like what I have worked so hard to accomplish, or even if I don’t like the results myself.

Woman journaling in a leather-bound notebook.

Here are some questions:

    1. What was the last thing I felt the Lord’s leading to do?
    2. Can I begin that task now or is it something for later?
    3. Is this my job or can I delegate it to someone I trust or even someone who needs to grow in this area?
    4. Could I work together with another person to build both of our skill sets?
    5. Am I adding things to my plate that can be cut out?
    6. Am I letting the seemingly urgent things drown out the important things?

When I determine which things I am responsible to carry at this time (Gal. 6:5), I feel a sense of relief that I am doing what I am made for, what I am called to do.  The more I follow God’s leading to do these things, the more I become sure of His calling. There will always be those “have to” tasks that I don’t want to do.  Finding joy in those tasks is a challenge.  But the more I press into the things God has called me to do, the more easily joy grows in all things.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always do only the things that we are really good at?  If that were the case, we would be building self-sufficiency, pride, and a lack of humility.  God has often asked me to do things that do not come naturally to me so that I remain dependent on Him.

One of the important things I have to remember is that as I follow God’s leading through my  tasks, I may not see the end result.  I may just be tilling the ground for seeds to be planted.  I may just be planting seeds myself.  But if I truly believe that God is the gardener, and it is the Holy Spirit’s job is to do the work in another person’s heart, then I can rest in the fact that God uses both my successes and my failures to expand His kingdom.  I don’t need to take on the job of our God to bring about the changed hearts of others.  I’ll let God do that job.  He does a way better job.