I work with college kids, notoriously one of the most awkward ministries in the church. Yes, I knew that going in. Yes, I've even heard other pastors talking about the difficulty of pastoral ministry. Even so, there are still days when I'm just exhausted and somewhat surprised by the frustrations of ministry. Why is the ground so hard?
Thistles and thorns—that's what the earth gives up to Adam this side of Eden. Adam's work is no longer a joy but a toilsome chore. The sweat of his brow mingles with the dirt as he engages in the mighty contest, hand to the plow, wrestling life from the soil. Life after the Fall is hard, and nothing comes easy. Reflecting on life under the sun, without the hope of redemption, Qohelet's question in Ecclesiastes rings true today: "Who can make straight what he has made crooked?"
Basically, if you're breathing, you're frustrated.
For some reason, I thought ministry would be different.