Maybe It’s The Devil Laughing?

Picnic Basket
Image by Paul and Christa via Flickr

My toes press between the blades of grass. I lean into my arms. Across from me, my husband sits sharing our blanket. Our dog is on her second lap of tangling her long leash around yet another tree, one of the many large and old oaks in the plaza.

“What’s wrong?” He smiles at me.

We’ve been meeting every Monday during my lunch for a picnic.

I glance back at our church. The old cross hangs over the entrance to one of the worship services. “There’s still so many areas where we need volunteers. I’m not sure why we aren’t getting volunteers like we used to. So many gaps.”

It’s discouraging to see my home church struggle to fill the most basic positions. I mentally count off the names on my service teams list and my shoulders sag.

“It would be so encouraging if people would step up. I know I would feel so encouraged.”

The old cross drops a shadow over our doorway. Why must a few volunteers hold up the bulk of any ministry? I don’t want volunteers who are all ready handling too much. I want fresh volunteers who haven’t served yet. I want broken people on my Revive Prayer Team who know how to reach out in compassion to someone with a need. I want more cheerful people on my Hospitality Team. I want servants helping to set-up and tear-down. I want 252 Kids Kingdom to be teeming with volunteers.

The dog gets tangled around a large oak. My husband tugs on the leash. Our dog pants, smiles if you will, wanting to greet every dog and everything is exciting to her and she can’t sit down. I thought about what a friend of mine told me and I am more determined to do what I can to use what God has given to me. I am really blessed with the group He has brought my way. I am so impatient though wanting to erase the discouragement I see and replace it with an unquenchable fire to serve, to love, and to be all things Christ. This church is my family. You don’t leave because things get difficult. God says wait. I am waiting, but I don’t know what I am waiting for or why. So I lean back and swallow the summer air and listen to the child laugh behind us. Maybe it’s the devil laughing?

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12 thoughts on “Maybe It’s The Devil Laughing?”

  1. I think it is very hard to see the need and see it hanging open unmet. I always ask for at least 1 person who loves God and the ministry to serve together and that encourages me to know although there are few, there are the faithful. May God encourage you as you stay faithful.

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  2. I so understand this post! I know that I served and did so much that I became burned out. It was a breath of fresh air when I went to a new church and heard the pastor say… serve in one area WELL. Try it out and if it is not your heart then try out another and that it was ok to say NO.

    Hope God burdens people’s heart to step up and help.

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  3. “But he gives us more grace.” James 4:6a

    Praying that He will give you space to breathe, a refreshing for yourself that will spill onto all you meet. He will accomplish His plans — and you will indeed be there to witness!

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  4. I wish I new some great method to solve this, but I don’t. What I do know is that God is pleased with your passion and willingness. He doesn’t tremble at the devil’s laughing – He responds with victory. And it is He that is in you… and He that is in you is greater than… SO take some time to worship God and laugh back at the devil. Your perseverance IS making a difference. Steady on, friend!

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  5. These are really good questions, Nikole. And it’s a struggle many churches work to overcome.

    Maybe it’s an American church thing? Maybe we are all too busy?: I don’t know. When I went to Costa Rica a few years ago what amazed me was the willingness of the congregation of our host church to serve. Most of the people there had been Christians less than six years but if there was a need, they stepped up.

    I pray this time of trial will be overcome soon.

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  6. Keep the faith! The devil is always working to discourage whether through laughter or through words!

    Also, keep in mind you are making a kingdom difference when the devil does attack…We must always keep the Kingdom in our thoughts and in our works!!! Keep the faith! Keep up the Good Work and Keep your eyes firmly on Jesus!!!!

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