Thursday, March 4, 2010

Don’t Get in Over Your Head!

“Hey, are you trying to drink all the water out of this lake?”, I cried out, as I jerked my youngest daughter up and out of the water, setting her feet on dry land.

The adults were up to their waists in the lake, while the children had been instructed to stay on the shore and just play in the sand. My daughter did not realize that there was a sudden drop-off only a few steps from the place she had been playing. Deciding to come to me all by herself, she began a hazardous journey into water that swiftly engulfed her!

Sometimes in our zeal to work for the Lord, we often rush in too quickly. I have been chastened for waiting too long. Either decision, too fast or too slow can be the choice of error. So how do we know what God wants us to do in his vineyard?

Preparation is one method of perceiving direction. Perhaps your church is organizing a drive, or advertising a special Bible Study, or providing classes on how to minister. Discover what is available and sign up.

Opportunity is another method of finding God’s will for your efforts. Is your choir seeking new members? Is there a call for teachers to help with the children? Is there a New Hope Center close by where you can volunteer to lend a hand? Are there seniors in your neighborhood that can use assistance with shopping or Doctor visits? Uncover a place that interests you and fill it.

There are times when it is wise to say, “No”, especially if you are already doing a good deal of the work in your place of worship!

Overload creates burn out!

A friend shared with me how her former Pastor told her to never say “No” when asked by the Pastor, board members or a teacher to do some work in the church. As a young, pregnant mother, she lugged a small child here and there in a laundry basket as she cleaned church bathrooms, wrote letters, set up classrooms and other tasks assigned to her. My friend was worn out from her own responsibilities and from these additional duties put upon her unwisely by her Pastor. Finally in desperation she understood in her spirit what her real obligations were and notified the Pastor.

“She was over her head.”

Rewarded by harsh criticism from authority figures in the church, she decided to trust God. For many years the enemy held bits and pieces “over her head” until she at last became confident in the Word and in her God.

The main thing to remember in “working for God,” is, “Do not get in over your head; learn to swim first!


  1. I once heard someone say that the best way to get started in ministry was to row out into the middle of a lake, jump in, and swim to shore. The assumption - I presume - was that the person jumping in the water already knew how to swim. :)

    (VIsiting from Cheryl's, and from

  2. Hazel, I read wisdom in your words. This line is timely for me, "Either decision, too fast or too slow can be the choice of error." I wonder whether jumping in prematurely or dragging our feet both originate from the same place. I've got to think about that for some time. Thank you for passing your wisdom on to the rest of us!

  3. Hazel, this is really good advice. Just last week I was talking with a friend who said the verse, "Do not grow weary in doing good," had taken on a new meaning for her. Originally she felt the meaning was about endurance, but lately, she felt God speaking to her about not burning out. Either, I think is correct, but I was intrigued by her new definition. I hadn't even considered that, yet it makes so much sense!

    Oh - and I'm so glad you're on the Simplify Journey with us! Sorry it's taken me a few days to get here. Well worth the wait!


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