Remember the reality tv show Undercover Boss? In it, the company owner goes undercover disguised as a regular staff member, and works alongside the other employees. He or she gets to experience their daily pressures and problems, becomes familiar with their strengths and weaknesses, and finds out what is and isn’t working. Some of the discoveries are truly eye-opening, and lead to major changes that end up making the organisation a more efficient, more profitable, and a more enjoyable place for everyone to work.
A good definition of the word understand is ‘to stand in another person’s shoes’. That’s what happened to the prophet Ezekiel. He writes: ‘Then I came to the colony of Judean exiles… I was overwhelmed and sat among them for seven days. After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman.”’ (Ezekiel 3:15–17 NLT) When did God give Ezekiel a message for others? After he’d spent seven days and nights sitting with people who had lost everything, people in deep despair and in need of answers.
Referring to Jesus, the Bible tells us, ‘This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do.’ (Hebrews 4:15 NLT) Your most effective ministry to others can come out of some of the experiences you’re going through right now, especially the painful ones you’d like to escape and don’t even feel comfortable talking about. The truth is, your greatest mess can turn out to be your greatest message. So let God work on you until He gets you to where you need to be.