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Ministry Solitaire: Thriving in the Aloneness of Ministry Life

October 2003
By: Sydna Massé
It is difficult to avoid the feelings of isolation, for when people see you they are reminded of the "abortion" issue. It is a controversial issue that causes many people discomfort. And since that is the issue they associate with you, people tend to see you as a one-dimensional person. In order to minimize their own discomfort, these people avoid you.

What you see, that the others do not, is the human side of abortion. You see the pain of women experiencing post-abortion syndrome. You see the fear of teens facing unplanned pregnancies. You see the grief of losing a child. So while some avoid you, others overwhelm you with various needs. It's easy to see how we often feel lonely or inadequate.

The feelings of being separated from ordinary society are common on God's path to Heaven. Deuteronomy 31:6 offers this encouragement: "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Isn't it wonderful to know that we are never truly alone, for God is with us?

Being set apart
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5).

Jeremiah was told that God had called him before he was born to give a message at a crucial time in history. The word knew means Jeremiah had an intimate knowledge that comes from relationship and personal commitment with God. In being appointed Jeremiah was sanctified for the work. He would serve the Lord for over forty years, yet the people of Judah never listened to his warnings. His message was "politically incorrect" for his time. He was rejected by most and stood alone in calling people to repent and turn to God.

God explained to Jeremiah that He had set him apart from birth for this task. But when God officially called him to serve, Jeremiah argued that God was mistaken in choosing him because he was unqualified for the job: "Then I said, 'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth'" (Jeremiah 1:6). Then God gave him what He needed and reassured him. Jeremiah gives the account: "Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, 'Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant'" (Jeremiah 1:9, 10).
It is an
incredible
honor to be
counted
among
those that
God wants
to use!

The life of Jeremiah from that point on is hard to imagine. He gave his life to the Lord and went through a myriad of tough times in his forty years of service. Jeremiah was incarcerated in prison, thrown into a well, taken to foreign lands against his will, rejected by those to whom God sent him, and was never allowed a wife or a family. A lot of what Jeremiah prophesied came true during his ministry, yet he was continually ignored. Nonetheless, Jeremiah was faithful to the Lord through it all.

Can you relate to Jeremiah? There have been times that I argued with God about His selecting me as His spokesperson. Many of us have been scrutinized by those who seek to discredit our work. While the pro-abortion forces are always against us, attacks can come even from our own side--those who profess to be Christians or pro-life. It is during these times that I beg the Lord to release me to go back to leading a normal life. But Jeremiah's example reminds me that I am to be faithful to the Lord no matter what the cost.

Having godly fear
Obeying the Lord's call can be like carrying a cross. It is heavy and hurts the backbone and adjoining muscles. Publicly confessing to taking the life of my firstborn is emotionally difficult, yet it is also my greatest joy.

Inspiration along God's path of ministry has come from many biblical figures including a man called Jonah. From the account of his experience, I know that disobeying God's call means I could end up in the belly of a whale!

The "fear of the Lord" is my main motivation. It's funny, but this fear allows me to be fearless! All I have to do is hear and obey the Lord's leading. If He is with me, who can be against me? This fear of the Lord provides me an indestructible spiritual covering. With God's Spirit and help, we can do incredible things for Him.

Overcoming the lack of harvest workers
There are only a few who are actively involved in this ministry, and some years more leave the work than join! As we search for new volunteers, we may be inclined to feel as though the entire burden has been placed on our shoulders. We may feel abandoned by God and question Him with thoughts such as: "Why is there this evil in the world?" "When will He come forward and avenge this blood?" and "Where are the workers to help?" Did you know that many prophets of the Bible felt the same way?

When I feel this way, I go back to Judges 6 and 7. I can truly identify with Gideon. In Judges 6, God sent an angel to speak directly to Gideon about the task He was calling him to do. God's message was that he could win the battle with the strength that he had. What does Gideon do? He argues by saying that his clan is the weakest and he is too young (the least in his family) to win the battle. The Lord continues to be patient, reminding Gideon that He will be with him in battle. Later, God even reduces the number of Gideon's fighting men to just three hundred. Why? Because God wanted everyone to know that He was responsible for the victory.

I sometimes wonder about those three hundred men who were allowed to participate in that miracle. What was going through their minds as they waited for Gideon's signal? They hadn't met with the angel of the Lord or had a prophetic dream. They were just being obedient to Gideon's orders. When Gideon handed each of them a trumpet and an empty jar, what did they think was going to happen? They didn't have swords or shields--just musical instruments and kitchen pottery. Were they afraid as they approached the enormous camp of the enemy? Imagine how they felt as they blew their horns, broke their jars, and then watched all their enemies turn against each other! What an incredible miracle to witness! Their hands didn't get bloodied, but they won the battle because God did all the work. Their only role was to be obedient no matter how ridiculously out of balance the situation must have seemed.

Do you ever feel like you are ridiculously outmatched in this ministry? The 60,000,000 worldwide abortions each year can be paralleled to the enormous army that Gideon's band of three hundred faced that day. Instead of multiplying, our forces have dwindled and financial support is scarce. The tools we have are pretty pathetic (like trumpets and jars) in relation to fighting well-funded, well-armed opponents, such as Planned Parenthood. But this battle has already been won because God promised to "sustain the fatherless and the widow" (Psalms 146:9).

Take heart! You have been selected to be part of the modern-day "three hundred" that God will use to end abortion one life at a time! What an incredible honor to be counted among those that God wants to use! Our numbers may grow smaller and our finances diminish in the days to come, but God knows how much it costs for the trumpets and jars He will use in the upcoming battle to end abortion. In the end He will claim the victory. Only God can end abortion, and He has chosen to use you to bring about that miracle! Go on in the strength that He has given you and remain faithful.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sydna A. Masse is the president and founder of Ramah International and is the author of the book Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion. She has published a new recovery guide that allows this book to be used in Bible study formats. To reach her or order Ramah's resources, visit www.ramahinternational.org or write: Ramah International, 1776 Hudson St., Englewood, Florida 34223. Phone: 941-473-2188. Fax: 941-473-2248. E-mail: Sydna@aol.com.

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