God's Lesson to a Leader From His Wife Battling Sickness

husband taking care of wife
A ministry leader learns some unforgettable lessons from his wife battling sickness. (iStockPhoto)

Well-meaning people want ministry leaders to exercise authority over them and to direct them in the way they should go. They want to put you on a pedestal and believe that you have all the answers and never make mistakes. This is human nature, but not God's nature. He leads in a different way.

Two of Jesus' disciples wanted to be greatest in God's kingdom. Look carefully at what Jesus told his disciples:

"Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:25-28, NIV).

For the past 38 years, Diana and I have loved and served one another in marriage and ministry. At least, that is what I thought. Recently, Diana had to go through a very serious surgery. The doctors explained all the details and what would be required. Then the Lord revealed to me that, while Diana is a minister in her own right, she had truly served me and my ministry for 38 years with all her heart.

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But that was not so with me. So, that night, I recommitted to serve my wife to the best of my ability. I am delighted to say that the Lord brought Diana through the surgery, and her healing is progressing. To my surprise, I discovered several things in the process.

I discovered that serving wholeheartedly (not perfectly) brings tremendous joy. I discovered what Jesus meant when He said, "Not so with you." As I served Diana through her suffering, together we persevered. According to Romans 5:3-4, this built character in our relationship and gave us tangible hope.

Finally, I discovered the multiplication effect of servanthood. People came from everywhere to pray and support our family through the difficult time. They came from our church, from our past, from the central office where I serve, from our neighborhood and even from extended family we had not heard from in months. Through it all we found out that there were, and still are, dozens of people we have never met who are praying.

Here is the obvious takeaway: God multiplies servant leadership—mightily! As much as I wanted to do everything for my wife on my own, He knew I couldn't. And you can't do everything for the people you lead.

God delights in multiplying ministry for servant leaders. Let's pray together that our Foursquare movement will be recognized around the world by humble service. And pray that, as a result, leaders' efforts will be multiplied far beyond their expectations.

How You Can Pray

Are you truly serving those whom God has put in ministry with you? Ask Him to help you find tangible ways to serve others daily. 

Reprinted with permission from The Foursquare Church. Marc Gale is the manager of The Foursquare Church's insurance department.

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