For When We Struggle to Serve Small

Do you find yourself seeking the accolades of man instead of the affirmation of God in your ministry, work and home? Sometimes, we are called to love small, to love the invisible and to enjoy the presence and comfort of God alone as we serve our families.

So, I have this issue that God keeps bringing up in my heart. It’s a problem I have, and I continually find new layers to it. I have pedestal problem. In reality, it’s this ranking system I have in my heart. It’s this snobbishness I have inside me.

I want to know people.

Not just any people, but influential people. I want to know the people. I want to be in the inner circle.
I want to be trained by the best. I want to be in the know.

I have actually gotten to know some pretty amazing people. I have formed friendships, prayed for people who continually point to Christ, and learned some great things.

But it never seems to be enough.

The last time I went to hear one of my favorite speakers, I was able to talk to her a bit afterwards. I have such respect for this woman that I was tongue-tied and awkward. I talked about how I’d love to attend one of her small group intensives, to which she lovingly answered that her intensives are a bit in a lull and maybe in the future, I should just keep my eyes open for when they open up again.

I cried the whole way back to my hotel room. You see, I thought God had called me to do something, and I really believed that in order to accomplish this thing he had called me  to do, I had to be trained in by this one person, and since that wasn’t happening this exact second, I felt shaken. OK, maybe I was tired too. I often cry when I’m exhausted.

I went up to my hotel room, and got a hot bath going. I dropped to my knees wondering what God was doing. Why did he lead me here? What was he trying to teach me? What was I doing wrong?

As I prayed, I felt God impress on my heart: “So, am I not connected enough for you? Do I not have a big enough network to please you? Do I not have the resources to bring about what I called you to do?”
It was humbling. I felt clarity.
And yet, months later, I find myself back in that spot. I want to be connected. I want to be in that inner circle. I want to be a leader. A big chunk of my motivation is good and pure, but another part of it is so selfish. It’s that part that disregards the small people in my life, whether that be in size, age, or just in any way “not benefiting me” on what I consider to be my mission.
When I pray, it’s like God is pushing me towards talking to the people no one is talking to, not standing in line to talk with someone who I consider great.

The odd part about this is that of all the “great” people I have stood in line to speak with, and in every conversation that I have had with them, they continually point me to Christ. I already have Christ, so that’s old hat. It’s not exactly new. Like the nation of Israel, way back when, my God suddenly isn’t good enough to lead me. I want a flesh-king. I want a breathing person to follow. That would require so much less faith and such more more pre-digested teaching. Really it would simplify everything…so I think.
I get so excited when someone famous responds to something on Twitter, or becomes my friend on Facebook. I get to talk to the God of the universe everyday and half the time I don’t bother showing up.

It’s idolatry.
These women I’m worshiping don’t want that. God doesn’t want that. Satan loves this. It’s sometimes the only twist that he can put on someone profound truth that impacts our souls. If Satan can’t discredit what a teacher says, can’t discredit a teacher’s integrity, he will resort to tempting you to worship this teacher.

We get to talk to God everyday, and read His Word at our leisure. We get to share HIM with our children. There is no greater inner circle than that.

Those who want to be great in God’s kingdom must first be a servant. They see through God’s eyes the people that no one else sees. They understand that there is no friendship, no job below them. There is no greater person to know than Jesus.

Gretchen Ronnevik

unnamed-10Gretchen always dreamed of being a missionary since she was a little girl.  She always imagined she would live in a rural jungle village, surrounded by natives in strange costumes, speaking a language she didn’t understand, as she tried to show them God’s love.  That plan was consistently derailed, and she ended up marrying a farm boy, who moved her out of the city and into a rural farming community in the frozen tundra.  There she is surrounded by their 5 hilarious kids in strange costumes, who are at times hard to understand, and she tries to show them God’s love.  She writes about faith, homeschooling, knitting, and life with kids and their barnyard animals.

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  1. Gretchen,
    We can find tidbits of Godly wisdom in so many places. I received some from you today when I ran across this article. God can speak to us in so many ways and he is using you to reach others! Thank you for your encouragement on a day I was feeling especially discouraged for some of the same reasons you shared in your article! Redirecting our eyes on Jesus is the only way to respond! May the Lord richly bless your day!

  2. Thank you for your honesty. I think we all can relate in some way to some extent. What the world (and even the Christian one) calls successful is not always the same successful God calls us too. And each of us is different. I’m a writer. But not a “best selling” one. But are the dozen people whose lives are changed by my books less important than the thousands who bought so-and-so’s books? And then what about the five kids you are discipling? Yes, they are little disciples, just as mine have been (grown) and are (at home still). Sometimes I forget the importance of the “one.” Jesus was about each one. Thank you for reminding me of this. Again. May God bless you and your sphere of influence! 😉

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