by Rick Finley

The first thing I want to do is to clarify that I am not writing this post on my own behalf.  I am a preacher of the Gospel, and have been for thirty-seven years.  I’m in love with my calling and addicted to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.  At the present, my life is relatively drama free.  Yes, I face the day to day rigors of ministry, but I’m currently experiencing more victories than defeats, more joys than sorrows and more bright days than cloudy ones.  At the time of this writing I am enjoying a week of vacation with my wife, all of my children and grand-children at my side.  I am blessed.

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Don’t get me wrong, my heart is not burden free.  Today I grieve for three of my friends in the ministry.  While I am vacationing in Tennessee, Bro. Bobby Roberson is preparing to bury his wife, Bro. Ray Young is preparing to bury his mother and Bro. Clarence Sexton is critically ill, recovering from by-pass surgery.

Yes, preachers have burdens too.  Those who spend their lives bearing the hurts of others are sometimes overwhelmed with heartaches of their own.  Those who walk in at your darkest hour must also, at times, walk in darkness.  It is so easy for the church member to think that the pastor’s life is charmed and problem free, nothing could be further from the truth.

My three friends that were mentioned earlier all have nation-wide ministries and I’m sure that they and their families are receiving love and support from friends around the country.  They certainly should.  However, those three men represent thousands and tens of thousands of others who serve in hidden corners of our nation and remote villages of the world.  When some of those men are critically ill, it won’t be circulated on social media.  When their wife or mom graduates to Heaven, condolences won’t come pouring in from around the country.  The only support they receive will be from the people whom they are normally serving.

Encourage Your Spiritual Leaders

If you have a pastor, be sure to pray for him today.  Send him a note of encouragement.  Let him know when his preaching ministers to you.  Remember that he is a human being who hurts just like you hurt.  Realize that sometimes, when he is hurting the most, his hurts are hidden so that he can minister to yours.

I realize the risk that I am taking in writing this post.  Some may criticize me for being self-serving, and I am willing to take that risk if one pastor in some rural community receives some love and encouragement because of something that I have written.  I hope that you will continue to pray with me for Bro. Roberson, Bro. Sexton and Bro. Young.  I also hope that you’ll say an extra prayer for your man of God today.  I guarantee you that it is needed.

by Rick Finley