Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Let’s not kid ourselves: This is no easy road

A Facebook message from a friend, an executive director. Her ministry is preparing to offer medical services. From the beginning, it’s been a challenge.

They needed a new facility. It took a while, but they got it. Then, finding a medical director. Oh, and raising funds—a lot more than their support base gave in the past. They did this, too.

Now, training—which led to her Facebook message: Because of various circumstances, the other day was one of the three most difficult in her tenure. I get it.

Knowing what I know about the challenges she’s faced on this road to medical services, this says a lot. A. Lot.

Was the enemy at work here? Perhaps. Was it the stress many are feeling as they take this major step? Is there opposition from within? From outside? A lot of interesting questions – no perfect answers.

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All we know is that whenever we are about to take a major step which can have major kingdom impact, pushback is inevitable. It can come from our own, from outside or from the one committed to stealing, killing and destroying. Or a combination of all the above.

Count on it. It’s as predictable as the seasons, as commonplace as rioting at stores on Black Friday.

I’m not the wise sage (Thankfully)

My friend didn’t ask for advice. Oh, I could have been that person, full of great counsel, such as, “Just keep claiming (name the appropriate verse),” or “Lay it all out in front of the Lord. Pray. Fast.” Neither of these are wrong. And at the right moment, they are sound insight. But nothing I could provide in the form of advice would be something she doesn’t already know.

But the undeniable truth is, while knowing God’s promises is important, and prayer is vital to our planning . . . if we’re about changing a culture, the road is hard. 

Tweet This: The undeniable truth is, if we’re about changing a culture, the road is hard.

An example

I think of the apostle Paul, convinced by the spirit of God to go to Jerusalem, knowing “bonds and afflictions” awaited him there. Even the prophet Agabus took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, saying “in this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”

Friends, good friends, begged Paul not to go. From my perspective, this was good advice. Persecution is bad. Avoid it when you can, right? 

But Paul, knowing he couldn’t stop what was ahead, told them, “I’m ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Paul went. He knew his calling, knew that if the world were to be changed it would mean going to Jerusalem.

I’m not trying to compare my friend to Paul, but the principle is the same. In our work, we choose to step forward, offering new services to save lives even when we know the road won’t be easy.

This isn’t to say every pregnancy help center should offer medical services. It’s not for me to say.

What is true however, is that every ministry—at some point—faces a choice. We can stay content with who we are. Or, accept the call to go further. Take a step of faith.

Tweet This: Every ministry at some point faces a choice. We can stay content with who we are. Or, accept the call to go further. Take a step of faith.

Choosing the next step

The next step, however, usually means struggles. Challenges. Opposition. Frustration. Difficult days. So difficult sometimes, we struggle with whether to keep going.

No doubt, my friend sometimes wonders whether the current path is worth it. No, it’s not for me to give advice.

I wrote her back, telling her we’re in this together. That while more than a thousand miles away, I’m here—and the entire Heartbeat family is here—whenever she needs connection. It’s what we do.

Knowing her, she’ll take the next step. And the next one, too. The road may not become smoother in the next few weeks. But the road she’s chosen is worth it. And in the future, she’s going to see this. I can’t wait to hear about it when she does.


Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau. His new Faith Revolution Podcast is online at www.kirkwalden.com

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