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My brother pastor,

It’s Monday morning.  Yesterday you gave your all.  You’re spent.  You’re depressed.  You’re drinking a lot of coffee.

A friend of mine in campus ministry tells me that when he calls someone new onto his team, he gives them a plaque to hang on the wall of their apartment.  It simply says, “You’re not crazy.”

When the Lord catches us up in his work in the world today, we find ourselves swept away into something more demanding than we ever expected.  Sometimes we are tempted to think, “I must be crazy.  I must be crazy to be living this way, giving myself to this extent, paying this price.  What on earth is happening to my life?”

You’re not crazy.  You’re re-living the story of Jesus.  The Bible says, “He poured out his soul to death” (Isaiah 53:12).  There was no point at which Jesus said, “This isn’t funny any more.  This is becoming too costly.  I must be crazy.  It’s time to put a stop to this.”  He kept saying Yes to the will of God, pouring out his soul, moment by moment, all the way, even to death.  And he wasn’t crazy.  “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11).

Re-living the story of Jesus is the only sane way to live, because God is there, with every promise he ever made, freely given to us through the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Yes, take time off.  Jog.  Nap.  Enjoy a hobby.  Laugh a lot.  Still, the advance of the gospel will cost every one of us dearly.  But we’re not crazy.  The promises of God are all over us.  Let’s believe that and relax and see it through, all the way.

Have a good day.

Your brother,


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10 thoughts on “You’re not crazy”

  1. Daniel Mikesh says:

    Thanks, brother Ray, for these words. This is exactly what I needed to hear after preaching morning and evening yesterday and now on the way to visit a dying man in the hospital.

  2. Gerald Van Iwaarden says:

    Thanks Ray for this blog entry. For those of, you included, that are laboring in the vineyard of the Lord, your words are always a balm to my soul. I love the graphics and art work as well.

  3. This is soooo funny! And sooo true!

  4. George Wisley says:

    Thank you!

  5. Barry says:

    Another KEEPER!

  6. Ben Williams says:

    I often feel like this and am encouraged by Jesus’ constant desire to be alone and pray. Yet, he knew that he had to deny himself of this if there were people close by who needed him. Yet, I also know that, however much I am called to be like him, I am not him. I find it hard to discern between giving myself to the ministry and depriving my family. It is a big temptation to neglect my family in the name of “advancing the gospel.” May Christ have mercy on us all as we try to serve others. Thanks for the encouragement.

  7. Thank you for the encouraging words. His grace is sufficient especially in our weaknesses.

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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