Saturday, 04 December 2021

Two positive (but different) ways to look at this season for your pro-life organization

We’ve just launched into 2020—not just a new year, but a new decade. Word pictures about “vision” abound. Everyone is nudging us to consider our dreams and goals afresh.

As an active part of the pregnancy help movement, perhaps you’ve been too busy with what’s already on your plate to think much about what’s down the road. 

That’s understandable.

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On the other hand, maybe a moment of “Selah” would offer some clarity to you (you know, the little word the Psalmists use to get the reader to pause and meditate on a passage).

Here’s the thing: every time we say yes to one thing, we say no to something else. 

That’s how it works with finite human beings. Any given commitment extracts an opportunity cost, because we can’t do it all.

As you and your organization head into 2020, I encourage you to reflect on the following verses of Scripture. 

(If you’re like me, you’ll be tempted to skip or hurry through this passage, because you’ve read it before—but please take the time to let the Word of God minister fresh truth to you right now.) 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In light of what God has to say about times and seasons, consider all the various areas of ministry your organization does.

Tweet This: In light of what God has to say about times and seasons, consider all the various areas of ministry your organization does.

For example, in addition to pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, a pregnancy help center might offer Life Skills classes, material assistance, abortion recovery, and ministry to dads, among other things.

Ask yourself: is there an area (or areas) where you’ve kept up the status quo for some time—without re-evaluating?

Are there aspects of ministry you’re involved in just because it seems like all organizations like yours should do those things?

If so, now might be a good time to pray about whether God is calling you and your team to continue all the things you’re doing.

It could be that this winter-to-spring season of 2020 is meant to be a time of pruning.

Pruning is not a pretty process. A freshly cut-back shrub or tree can take awhile to look like itself again. However, the pruning works to its benefit, producing greater fruitfulness in the long run.

On the other hand, if a gardener avoids pruning, plants become overgrown and fruit is scarce.

There is a time for everything. 

Is it time to prune some shoots off your ministry so that the whole plant can thrive?

This may be a painful thought, but it also could be the best thing for your organization in the long run.

If this is a pruning season for you, I hope you’ll take courage. Once you’ve clipped off the excess, your vision for 2020 will become clearer.

There is a time for everything.

Maybe it’s time for cutting dead things back.

On the other hand, maybe it’s time to bring dead things to life. 

If it’s not a pruning season for you, consider this question:

What past dreams have you buried? Will you let God resurrect them?

Perhaps you’ve dared to hope you could accomplish certain things for the cause of life, but those dreams just seemed too big and too impossible. 

Maybe you lacked the resources to make them happen, or you needed a partnership, or somehow things just didn’t get off the ground.

If that’s the case, the start of 2020 may require fresh faith for you to believe for the impossible—and you serve a God who specializes in exactly that.

I put it this way here:

“Sometimes we give up on a dream because it seems too insignificant or too difficult, or we lack guidance and encouragement. The opposition is too fierce. Distractions pull us away. Time passes, and we find ourselves distanced from our passion, trapped by circumstances and not sure how we were ensnared. 

So we trudge on, doing what lies in front of us. But the graveyard of our God-dream haunts us. In unguarded moments, we feel sad, grieving the death of that dream, wondering if it is yet possible.

There is every reason to hope. God is in the resurrection business. And resurrection always opens new dimensions…

Jesus said, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’” (John 12:24). 

God is sovereign. He allows dreams in our heart to die because he intends to bring them back better than ever, bearing much fruit for the glory of his name.”

What ministry dreams have you cherished, yet buried? Is God prompting you to bring them to Him again?

Like the prophet Ezekiel, speak to the dry bones (Ezekiel 37). Trust God to breathe life into your forgotten dreams.

You might be in a season of pruning, or a season of God resurrecting your dreams. 

Either way, may your 2020 come into clear, sharp focus.

Susanne Maynes

Susanne Maynes is an author, speaker, and biblical counselor who served at a pregnancy help center for ten years. She blogs about church & culture and spiritual growth at SusanneMaynes.comHer educational devotional, Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion: 40 Reflections on Rescuing the Unborn, uplifts and strengthens the pregnancy help community. Susanne is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Regent University.


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