A pastor lives from crisis to crisis, and some of them are his own.
Many leaders are adept at taking care of others’ problem, except that of their own.
I plead guilty to that.
I am full of wisdom in giving counsel to others, but develop brain freeze when figuring out solutions or simple steps to navigate my own way out of a haze.
I almost quit the ministry in the late 90’s. I’m not going to go into details on that, except to say looking back years later, I realized I committed a serious omission that could have accelerated my healing faster.
I failed to pray for myself!
I was so conditioned to pray for other people, that even during my own pain and misery, I failed to asked God to help me, heal me and/or minister to me.
Yes, I did pray for God to take away my pain.
I prayed that God would allow me to resign from the Pastorate.
I prayed that God would change or punish those who hurt me.
I prayed for escape…. but not for restoration.
I DID NOT ask God to help me forgive nor process my pain properly.
Psalm 51 would have been a great prayer for me to pray, especially verses 10-12
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
I often tell my church members, “Only a healthy me can be a blessing to others.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying for ourselves, our own health, our own well-being, knowing that “we cannot give what we do not have.”
Now, I pray every day for myself. I pray that God would protect my heart, especially against offense. And if I do get hurt physically, emotionally or spiritually, I take time out to pray and reflect and recover, often to the point of saying NO to opportunities if I sense in myself I am not yet healed at least in the process of that.
May God take care of His Shepherds and Leaders. And may Shepherds and Leaders learn to take care of themselves as well.