by D.A. Horton
Mornings seem to be the most frustrating part of the day for me. No matter how early I wake up, it seems I’m always rushing out the door behind schedule. Come to think of it, there was a time when I was ready to surrender my heart to apathy because of a series of challenges that came my way one morning.
It all started when my alarm failed to go off at 5:45am and I overslept. My daughters came in my bedroom announcing it was now 6:35am before asking if I was okay. Realizing I overslept I was puzzled as to why my alarm didn’t go off. Quickly I looked at my phone realizing it was dead. It was plugged into the wall outlet but failed to charge.
My curiosity forced me to stumble out of bed and rush down stairs to make my kids breakfast and grew more irritated as I realized none of our appliances were working! Come to find out, overnight due to the TV’s, fans, and lights being left on all night a fuse blew shutting down all the electricity in our house.
Long story short, after my trip to the fuse box I realized I had to press the “reset” button on many of the outlets throughout our home, in order to provide power to our appliances. Let’s just say the only thing that was fully charged that morning was my flesh.
After I had time in prayer with the Lord that afternoon I recall the spiritual lesson I didn’t see on the front end of my day. Often in my life I’m constantly giving out and rarely take time to rest in the Lord in order to recharge. During those moments before I “blow a fuse”, I’m bombarded with thoughts of quitting the ministry and giving up on relationships in general.
Ministry is draining and I know urban youth workers know this better than most. I wanted to write a blog that would infuse with you a charge of strength from a passage of Scripture that I use to power me up when I’m weak. My prayer is that you’ll reference James 1:2-5 in your life and by doing so, you’ll hold to God while holding out on giving up!
When the draining, non-stop and unique challenges of urban ministry get to you, do me a favor, hold on to God and let go of your frustrations. Remember its in those moments when “troubles of any kind” come your way, you are to consider it an “opportunity for great joy” (James 1:2 NLT).
What helps me fight for my joy during these times is the truth, the Lord is building my strength in Him, so I can be faithful in ministry for the long haul! This is why James 1:3-5 informs us we’re being given a “chance to grow”. As we mature in the faith, we’ll no longer need the comforts of this world our flesh wants to turn to when we’re tempted. Comforts ranging from; apathy, alcohol, drugs, over-eating, self-pity, or sexual sinfulness all work to keep our flesh distracted from growing in God.
The next time you’re running low on spiritual energy while you’re getting hit from all sides with temptations, quote James 1:2-5 and watch God the Holy Spirit recharge you with strength to say no to your flesh and yes to His leading! When you do this, you’ll hold out on giving up on those in your family, youth group, and place of work!
Remember, the eyes of the next generation are watching you. With this great privilege comes a greater responsibility. You get to model for them what a Spirit-filled believer looks like in real-time while they’re authentically working s through all kinds of opposition. Be charged up and ready to be the change they need to see!
D.A. HORTON currently serves as the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board. His prior work includes serving as the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries the non-profit ministry of Reach Records and an urban church planter, pastor and Lead Teaching Elder in Kansas City, MO for 6 years. D.A. is currently using the Spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit has given him to edify the body of Christ while serving under the leadership at Blueprint Church where he and his family are privileged to hold membership. He and his wife of 11 years Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr.
Connect with D.A. Horton who shares your passion at National Conference