I’m finding myself depressed more and more. Some of this is due to the stagnation of our church. Even though I’m very much a realist, and I knew even before becoming a pastor that seeing growth in the church would take time, I’ve also always been hopeful. I still am, but sometimes even my hopefulness brings me sorrow because our rate of growth doesn’t usually meet my hopeful expectations.
But I think my depression is caused even more by my shortcomings. I’m realizing more and more just how many I have. I fail as a husband. I fail as a father. I fail as a pastor. I fail as a Christian. This isn’t to say that I don’t also have successes in these areas, only that I fall short of the glory of God in each of these roles.
I could probably deal with that fairly well if it meant only my faith and my relationship with God were affected by my shortcomings, but that’s not the case. My wife depends on me. My kids depend on me. My church depends on me. And my relationship with and obedience to God have a huge impact on all of these people. So when I fall short, they are hurt.
This causes me constant sorrow.
Yet, I know that this is also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to be humble before others and point them to the only One who can truly save them, change them, and lead them to glorify God. I cannot be a good enough leader. But Christ can and does change people from the inside out.
So even though I have anguish over my sin, I also rejoice that God is using me, a broken vessel, to display His power and grace.
Earlier this year, I posted something about this on Facebook:
The more sorrowful I am of my and the world’s condition because of sin, the more I rejoice in Christ, who redeems me, and will one day redeem the whole world from sin. I’m starting to understand and experience what Paul said about his own experience in 2 Corinthians 6:10, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing…”