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Tom Smiley: Find inspiration through difficult seasons of life
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Every profession has its good and not-so-good elements, no matter what the daily duties involve.

While we may be tempted from time to time to look at the grass on the other side of the fence, we understand if “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, the water bill is probably higher.”

Many of us who have answered the call to ministry realize our profession is no exception. Ministry poses some very interesting and diverse situations. 

The bottom line: All of us in any vocation have those weeks that are difficult and very inspirational at the same time.

This truth hit home in my life this past week as I participated in three funerals over a span of four days. Two funeral services were on the same day.

During those four days, the fundamentally difficult aspect of my responsibility centered on handling the logistics of such a schedule.

The inspirational aspect of this responsibility was spending quality, reflective time with three families. And each family had the confirmational blessing of knowing their loved one was in the presence of Jesus.

You might know that the Christian faith is one of peace and hope, both of which come from the clear and certain word of scripture regarding the resurrection of Jesus and those who placed their faith and confidence in Jesus.

It was inspirational for me to see each family experience a peace beyond human comprehension while mourning a loved one who moved from this world to the next. The peace was not of human engineering. Instead it came from an affirmation of who Jesus is and a recognition of the trustworthiness and utter sufficiency of Scripture.

I was reminded of a very important life truth this week. All of us have moments in our vocations that are hard and unpleasant.

Yet, if we will take the time to look deeply, we can often find some inspiration even in those difficult tasks of our work.

Peace and God’s grace to you.

Tom Smiley is the senior pastor at Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville. He can be reached at

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