Keep your head up (encouragement for pastors)

butterfly stroke“Keep your head up!”

That’s what the dad kept yelling last week at the pool while his son kicked and flailed and struggled to swim across the deep end of the water.

“Son, if you keep your head up you’ll be fine, but if you let it drop you’re sunk.”

As I listened in on their father-son bonding moment, I realized that God was saying the same thing to me (and He’s probably saying it to you and every other pastor too).

“Child, keep your head up. We’re going places and it’s way too soon to drop your head and sink.”

Don’t get me wrong—church work gives us plenty of opportunities to feel like we’re floundering. However, if we obey the famous Hebrews 12:2 admonition to “fix our eyes on Jesus” we’ll quickly remember that Jesus ascended up to the heavens, and our renewed heavenly perspective will restore the vigor and vitality that we need to carry on in the good work that He has called us to.

If you’ve been plowing for a long time, like a yoked and focused ox, then you might need to take some time to re-ascend to an eagle’s perspective. You might need to remember how Nehemiah responded when his enemies assaulted him with fear. He said, “I am carrying on a great project and I cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

Pastor, you’re a Nehemiah in our generation and we need you to keep your head up.

Keep swimming and please know that you are powerfully and eternally loved!

(Note: if you are NOT a pastor, would you consider forwarding this essay to your pastor or church leaders to encourage them?)

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