2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.
In my morning reading, this verse jumped out at me for two reasons. First it fits well with the scripture for my sermon this coming Sunday, I Kings 19: 1 - 21. In this story of Elijah's wilderness experience, Elijah does indeed lose heart for his ministry - in the worst way. I wonder if Elijah failed or forgot to see his ministry of prophecy as a gift from God. I'll be honest there are parts of my ministry that I find tedious (things that don't involve people) and I don't always remember that it is by God's mercy that I am engaged in this ministry. It is a gift, and I need to treat it as such and engage in it with gratitude. Because, truthfully, I am many times blessed in my work and I am thankful.
However, I don't believe this passage speaks only to those of us whose occupation and vocation are in the church. We all have ministry to engage in where ever we are and whatever we are doing. This verse reminded me of Jimmy's (see post below) response when I thanked him for crawling under the building and fixing our leak. He said, "I'm glad to do it. How many people can say they get to work on God's house." Jimmy understood his ministry as a gift from God.
Lord, remind me often that all I am able to do is by your mercy and is a gift from you. Forgive me when I let fatigue or frustration make me lose heart. Amen.