But a thought occurred to me as I watched them and wallowed in my longing. It was almost audible.
"Hate your Father and Mother."
Which I acknowledged as a reference to Luke 14:26.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (ESV)I have always had difficulty with the verse because I love so deeply. I understood it as in comparison to my love of Christ my love of my family looks like hate, but it always bothered me a little.
But sitting there in the "pew" chair feeling sad that I wasn't closer to family, I had a realization of what that verse meant. Doing ministry is almost equivalent to "hating" my father and mother.
God has us here in this place for a specific reason. He has a plan for us, and that plan has us here. Tanner is now Ministry Leader of the Youth and is working alongside of the Youth Minister while he works on his Bible degree through Harding University's online program. I am still involved with the youth and the women's ministry as much as I can be with our delightful baby girl.
I can not do what God has called me to do if I am caught up in longing to be somewhere else. If I am preoccupied with wishing that I lived closer to my parents (or his parents), I can not spread the love of Christ to those around me.
So, as much as I want to be closer to my family, I will be happy with the times I can see them and choose to focus on where I am and what God has for me to do. He put me here for a reason and I know he has big plans for me and my family. I just have to remember to focus on HIM first so that he can use me to spread his Kingdom.