Thursday, August 18, 2016

Humbled And Thankful

This week has been one of extreme preparation. I am preparing for an upcoming adventure (of which I will say more later), grading for two different classes which finish this week, and preparing to teach a class I have not taught before which begins next week. All of that plus a host of other unusual tasks, in addition to some of the usual ones.

It is in the midst of this tightly packed schedule (my poor calendar has colors running all over it!) that I received a call from a friend who is facing uncertain times at his church. He called because he simply needed to vent to someone he trusted, but also to see if I might be able to provide some guidance in the coming weeks. The circumstances he described, though only one side of the story, are certainly worthy of concern. I assured him I would help as I could, when I could. His church is taking a little time to process recent events, so the timing may work out better for me given my current schedule. That sounds harsh, but we do all need to say no at times. This, however, is not one of those times.

As I finished the call, I was reminded that a friend at the church I serve had called a meeting for that evening in order to pray for me in my upcoming opportunity. We did meet, and with just a little bit of a devotional thought shared by him, and a little information shared by me, the people who gathered took the opportunity to pray for my wife and me. As the title of this post says, I was humbled and most thankful by and for the gesture. But with respect to the call I received earlier, I was humbled and most thankful by and to God for calling me to serve this church a little more than five years ago.

What is most convicting to me is that I do find myself struggling at times with fulfilling what I want to do, that is, how I can serve most effectively. Frankly, our church needed a slow turnaround to ensure a chance at a lasting revitalization, and that is what has occurred. And God has been so faithful in the process, but I look to see how He is at work and wonder why I am unable to do more. Again, I love this church, and am grateful for my calling here, and the love we felt the other night is just one reason why. But, as the slow turnaround now turns to more active ministry, I know more will be demanded of each one of us, especially me. I welcome the opportunity to lead this church forward and know that ultimately more leaders will need to be developed in the coming months to sustain the changes that have taken place and meet the opportunities that are coming our way. But as I continue to look at my calendar, and I consider the calendar of others in the church, I begin to wonder how we can accomplish what God wants us to accomplish.

And that brings me back to the humility and gratitude I have for the people of this church and for our God. For so many to show up to gather to pray for their pastor and his wife was touching. For God to choose to use me at this church at this time is a true blessing. I do not know all that we will be called to do in the coming weeks, months, and years, but I know that God has restored Fairfax Baptist Church to a place where great things not only can happen, but already are. As He continues to move us forward, may we all be willing to be humble before Him and express our thankfulness to Him know He is in control. If we do, we will achieve more than we could ask or imagine, because that is what our God does when we allow Him to guide us and let Him have the glory.

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