I have faced a lot of things these past few weeks in my ministry that have made me think a lot about my relationship with God and my effectiveness in his work. As I faced these trials, I became aware that they are necessary in my life to keep me close to God. Let’s say that I never had any troubles. Let’s say that my ministry was growing, everybody was happy with me, my sermon preparation was going wonderful and I did not have a problem in the world. Well, that seemed to be the case for a while. What I realized is that with no problems I began to grow prideful because apparently I had this ministry thing down. Then with no problems I began to lose my dependence upon God because I didn’t need anything from Him, things were going great. With no problems I began to be apathetic, satisfied with where everything was to the point of inaction. I also began to take people for granted because I had no people problems. What I realized this week, that without problems, my ministry had grown weaker and weaker. As soon as these problems began to arise, I was humbled immediately. I was no longer the perfect minister, but one who had failed many, many times and was only held up by a gracious God who allowed me work for Him. Suddenly, when problems arose, I leaned on God with everything that I had because I could not stand on my own. I realized also, that I had lots of work to do and could not be satisfied with where I and my ministry were at. With problems, I realized that no one should be taken for granted and that everybody needs my attention, love and care. Apparently, problems are necessary in my ministry and walk with God. Without them, I am worthless. Thank you God for the problematic wake up call!!