Last night in church, our pastor began a series of messages on Hosea. I have heard him do this series before, but it has been several years. This is what comes from being under the same pastor for most of your life...and it also comes from being said pastor's kid for your whole life! :)
Anyway, Hosea is a book that you don't hear from much. He's way in the back of the O.T., and let's face it, Jonah is the "celebrity" of the minor prophets...what with the big fish and all. But Hosea has some interesting things in his own right. To begin with, God gave him verbal instruction on who to marry. That would certainly seem to make life a little easier, wouldn't it? I mean, no more wondering "Is this the ONE? Or maybe that one over there?" Nope, just wait for your message from the Lord to send you right to their door. Unfortunately for Hosea, God sent him right to the door of the "wrong" person! Just think about poor Hosea, telling his parents "Well, Mom and Dad, God told me I was supposed to marry this girl. Now, don't freak out, but her job is a little unusual." The woman God told Hosea to marry was, to put it bluntly, a prostitute.
But Hosea trusted God in the plan of his life and obeyed the word of the Lord. He went and took a lady named Gomer to be his wife. And they did not live happily ever after.
You see, God was using Hosea as a living example of the Lord's willingness to forgive and love the nation of Israel no matter how many times they turned away from Him. (And, of course, He feels that way about us too.) But one thing jumped out at me last night, and that was this statement made by our pastor: "Sometimes God has to build a message in your life before He gives you a ministry." God told Hosea to do certain things that I'm sure Hosea didn't understand at the time. But God built a message out of Hosea's life, and then He gave Hosea the ministry of telling people about the redemptive forgiveness of God's love.
So, here's the thing: what message is God building in my life for a ministry that I may not have yet? I know there are things in my life (and I'm sure in your's too!) where I wonder "What purpose could this possibly serve?!" And if you look back over your life, I'm sure you can see things that God caused to happen in your life that prepared you for some ministry opportunity that you are undertaking right now. For example: the time that I spent helping out at the school before the boys were born has stood me in good stead now that I'm basically in charge! I never thought I would be doing what I'm doing now when I was helping out there!
It makes a difference in how you go about your daily activities if you keep in the back of your mind that God is building a message in your life so that one day your will be able to minister to someone else. I think this is especially true of SAHMs because so often our work goes unnoticed and under-appreciated. But maybe some day we will be able to help another young mother who is bogged down in her life of runny noses and cleaning up throw-up in the middle of the night. Or maybe you will be able to be an example of patience in the midst of adversity to your own little ones as they watch the way you handle the many "crises" that occur daily.
So, I'm going to take a page from Hosea's life, and try to remember that God is building a message in my life for a future ministry He has for me. Unfortunately, with the "messages" I'm learning right now, it feels like a boarding school for hyperactive boys may be my future "ministry"... :)