Tonight, I came across this draft that I wrote June 4, 2012, but never published. I wrote it during the time when God had made the next step (moving to Anderson, SC and accepting the Youth/Music Pastor position at Oakwood Baptist) clear to us, and we were working hard to make it happen. We were taking steps of faith and did not know what would happen next. Seeing these words against the backdrop of what has transpired since then places the faithfulness of God in stark relief. Here is what I wrote:
God is taking Candy and me through what could be considered the greatest test we’ve faced during our married lives. As I posted here, we are in the process of moving, which poses challenges that, frankly, are beyond us.
To be honest, even thought it’s a challenging time, I’d rather be in this position than any other. God has clearly revealed the next step to us. Candy and I are united in following His plan for us. By leading us in this direction, God is keeping us in a position where we have to depend on Him. Ministry had been running smoothly according to my plans, but that could have continued in self-sufficiency.
Now, we have to trust God to make things fall in place. We are working hard to take the next step, make decisions and plan for the coming months, but it’s obvious to us that, as we take the steps, obey, and work toward the new destination, God still has to provide in order for everything to come together.
And, in the “fire,” God is teaching us lessons because, in the fire, we become desperate enough to listen. Here are some lessons God is teaching me:
- It’s not about me, but about His kingdom. I was comfortable where I was, but it’s not about my comfort. If God wants me somewhere other than where I am, then He has the prerogative to move me. (by the way, I’m super excited about the opportunities.)
- He is faithful. As we have obeyed, He has provided on time, and He will continue to do so.
- His people are an expression of His love. We have received nothing but support from our church family. I thought they would have been ready to “lynch” me for leaving, but they have shared their support as we follow God’s will.
As I read these words and reflected on the month and a half since I drafted them, I see God’s faithful hand providing for us.
God provided lodging for the first few weeks in Anderson. He has blessed our start at Oakwood. The teens have been receptive to our leadership. The choir has responded to what I have been teaching them. The children are adjusting to a new church, a new nursery, and new people.
He has continued to reveal his faithfulness.
And His people in Anderson have been another expression of His love. They have joyfully welcomed us as co-laborers for the gospel.
When you are “in the fire,” you don’t see, but you trust. You take the step, knowing God has led you, but not knowing how God will see you through. Although you don’t see how, you know that He will.
After you have come through the fire, you look back and see that God was exactly Who he said he was, and your confidence in Him is strengthened.
There are still more challenges to overcome. We are thrilled to think about what God is going to do at Oakwood! My prayer is that we will continue to walk by faith in the God who accomplishes the impossible.