Towards the end of the year it can be quite dreary: the leaves are off the trees and are decomposing on the ground, the grass has turned brown, and it’s often rainy and muddy. But when the first snow falls it covers up all the dirt and deadness with a bright blanket of pristine beauty. Even people, who don’t like the cold season, do enjoy the clean, fresh look of a winter wonderland.
Ministry leaders go through these types of spiritual seasons, as well: they don’t just experience the new growth, blossoming, fruit-bearing and harvesting seasons, they also go through the dreary, dirty and dead times of sin. And it’s not just the sin of other people that they have to stomp through – they are burdened by the thick mud of their own sin that’s sticking to the bottom of their souls. It drags them down. They are out of step with their Lord; sometimes even totally stuck in the mud. They are sick and tired of their own filth and they long for cleansing.
King David, war hero, poet and worship leader, was at that point when he penned Psalm 51, which begins like this:
“For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
David was deeply burdened by his sin, just as many ministry leaders are, as well. They know that they’ve blown it big time. How can they help others, when they don’t have their own act together? And so many pastors, missionaries and other Christian workers disqualify themselves, give up and quit their ministries. (After cheating his brother, Jacob runs away. After killing an Egyptian, Moses runs away. After denying the Lord Jesus, Peter runs away.)
But God doesn’t give up on them. He continues to demonstrate His love for all of us even while we were still sinners (Rom.5:8). His kindness is intended to lead us to repentance (Rom.2:4). He is patient with us not wanting anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance (2.Pet.3:9). And so He intends the sorrow we experience to bring us back to Him. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret (2.Cor.7:9-10). The dirt on our souls makes us aware of our need for cleansing and is intended to draw us back to the One who alone can make us whiter than snow.
David experienced this forgiveness (2.Sam.12:13). And so did Jacob, Moses and Peter after they had blown it in such a big way. God still used them. Jacob became Israel, the father of a nation. Moses became the deliverer of his people. And Peter became the leader of the first church.
As we come in repentance to the cross, acknowledging what Jesus has done for us and wants to continue to do for us, we will be made whiter than snow, receive forgiveness and His very life, to be and do what He has called us to be and do. That’s good news: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Is.1:18)
We are a pastoral couple named Stefan & Heidi König. We have many years of experience in various ministries, and are thankful that God has given us this property to use as a way to bless others who need a place to relax and reconnect with Him.
Kingfisher Spiritual Direction
Direct your heart to Jesus and restore your soul. If you need to hear from God, to grow deeper with Him, consider spiritual direction. An ancient discipline of soul care, Heidi is trained to prayerfully lead you in this practice.