May 12, 2020
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NIV 1984).
Sometimes, when I look at my work and ministry as a Christian healthcare professional, I feel tired. And then I look at my wife’s work and ministry, and I am overwhelmed. This week alone, my spouse has managed grandchildren much of each day, cared for two Albanian students who are living with us in a medical school exchange, made four outings to take care of business for a friend of ours who is incarcerated, helped another obtain his special license after a DUI, led a Bible study for spouses of medical students, hosted a party of 17 who gathered to plan our upcoming Albanian mission and completed her job as home manager each day. Every morning, as I step into the kitchen to leave for work, she is at her window table with a Bible and three devotional books, seeking God’s plan for her day.
My spouse is a Mary. My spouse is a Martha (Luke 10:38-42). My spouse is a hard-working, devoted follower of Christ. She has the gift of hospitality and uses it sacrificially for Jesus and for others. Praise God I get to share life with her.
One of my early misunderstandings of God’s best plan for my life was that God had called me to live a missional life for Him and asked my wife to join me in a supporting role. She settled in and served well with my misunderstanding. I suspect such a clouded view of God’s plan is common for many healthcare professionals with their spouses, whatever the gender.
I was wrong about God’s best plan. God has a major role for each of us in His redemptive work. While I was focused on my perceived mission, my spouse continued to steadily work out God’s plan for her life and for our lives together. In recent years, again and again, I have become increasingly aware of the relational power of her ministry. Where I check off accomplished goals, she holds hands and serves people. God gets to decide, but I’m convinced that far more has been done in individual lives for God’s kingdom with her relational and service ministry than I have accomplished with all of my projects for Jesus.
I now realize that my spouse and I should follow three missional pathways in our service together for Christ:
- I will intentionally seek to support her mission for Christ whenever I can.
- I will lean on her to support my mission for Christ wherever I serve.
- Together we will seek to charge forward with God’s joint mission for our family, so that, down each pathway the lost might be brought home to Him, the broken might be made whole in Him and He might be glorified.
Thank you for my spouse. Guide us as we serve you together.