I am writing this on the end of a three-day thrill ride known as "The Forum." The forum is offered by Lifeway, and it is an oasis in the desert for women's ministry leaders. This year the theme was about filling up so we can pour out. The theme was based on Romans 15:13, which offers hope to the weary believer, assuring her that she is going to "overflow" from the power of the Holy Spirit. God will fill us with JOY and PEACE as we believe in Him and we, in turn, can pour that JOY and PEACE out on others in His name and for His glory!
Right now, though, I am just tired. This is my third Forum and, even with last year's broken toe, this one has been the most taxing. The one where the Lord has done the most work on me. The one that has left me both begging for more and begging to go home and sleep. And to retreat from some of the things I have come to realize about leading a ministry.
For that's what this is: a Ministry. It's not a fluffy, pretty, committee that plans monthly parties and exists to exchange coupons. This ministry is here. It is available. It is strong and it is here to glorify God and to help you seek Him and to know Him. We want to offer you His joy, His strength, His love, and a deeper relationship with the One True Living God!
Today I will fly home to my sweet family. When I board the plane and buckle up, the flight attendant will go over a little safety speech that I always try to pay attention to, even though I could probably recite it for her. (Or him) Confession time: I pay attention so that, if something should happen, she won't shove me out of the way and remind me that she saw me reading during her speech. "No!" she will shout, "I saw you- go to the back of the line!"
This time, though, I will pay attention when she talks about how, in the event that the cabin should lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop fom the compartment located above me. I will be instructed to place the mask over my nose before I assist others. I need air before I can help anyone else. Don't we all.
We need the power of the Living God before we can share Him with others. Having descended from above, just for us, He is our oxygen. Breathe Him in. Fill up. Then be ready to pour out. I know I am.