Most of my early career was spent in parachurch ministry – working outside but alongside the church to serve a variety of populations. One was a ministry that served families living through childhood cancer at beachside retreats, and the other was a summer camp for kindergarten through 8th graders.
Sounds really fun, right? Camp songs, snow cones, toes in the sand, water balloons… And it was fun. Most of the time.
But sometimes, the closer I got to the top, the more removed I became from the people we served, and the product we were offering, I lost the “magic,” if you will, and lost sight of the purpose. Bogged down in administrative or managerial tasks, dealing with people being…people, balancing budgets. My job wasn’t all sand castles and face paint.
In those moments I tried to train my mindset to ask God to show me the “magic.” My prayer was always simple, “God show me why this matters. Show me the sparkle again.” And He was always gracious and faithful to do it. Whether it was through seeing the sibling of a child with leukemia feel seen and celebrated at an UNBirthday party. Or whether it was through listening to a room full of elementary schoolers singing out in worship, I remembered why I had signed up for it.
Your ministry, might not actually be ministry. You could find yourself living out your days in a variety of places where the magic is easily lost. Parenting, working, studying…doing the work of being human. But God is always faithful to remind us of why.
I encourage you to borrow Paul’s prayer today, in his letter to the Ephesians: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” (Ephesians 1:18).
God will be faithful to show you your purpose, how he is honored by your work, and he will give you a glimpse!
Remember these promises about how willing God is to show you the way:
Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Psalm 118:19, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
Steal this prayer: God, I pray that the eyes of my heart would be enlightened that I may know the hope to which you have called me, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in me, who you call holy. Will you show me the purpose in this moment? In this day? In this job? In this season? Will You give me a glimpse into how much You delight in me and my work? Amen.
Tory Vore is a writer, communicator, and small group leader with a passion for discipleship and the local church. She writes about motherhood, womanhood, and friendship, with God and others. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband James and two children. You can read more of her occasional writing at toryvore.com.