During a prayer time we this morning at my church, one of our new members prayed for me. She has been a member of our church for about two years or so, and has lived up to her name as far as I’m concerned. She prayed something I will never forget and always cherish:
“Lord, we know that when it comes to pastors, everyone wants a piece. Lord, only you can keep him in one piece, and give him peace. Please do this for him.”
How grateful I am to have such intercession made on my behalf. Most pastors start out wanting to please everyone, but they quickly find out they cannot. In the midst of people-pleasing, many forget to please God by studying, praying, preaching His Word, and patiently caring for His people.
Pastors should never be amazed or even bothered by their people ‘wanting a piece.’ That’s the very nature of the calling. We are undershepherds of the flock. But while we cannot always be available personally due to the wide array of needs, we can continually point to the Good Shepherd (John 10) who is continually available and accessible.
Being unable to meet every need brings about a perpetual pastoral guilt that few have and even fewer understand. And as a result, peace evades many pastors. But the Prince of Peace comes along to convict when needed and to assuage the guilt when needed as well, reminding us we are finite undershepherds–He is the infinite, all-caring, all-powerful Good Shepherd who sacrificially lays down His life for His sheep.
I’m thankful to know and hear His voice. I’m thankful His peace keeps me in one peace.