Yesterday I wrote about one of the most wonderful consolations I have ever been given by God. But today, I have been thrown into the deepest desolation.
The role of pastor in this day and age (unless one is a master of marketing a consumer-driven social structure) is difficult at best and a slow, agonizing, endeavor at its worst. God is always there, but within the mystery of divine love, free-will, and a creation under a curse, the question, “Why, Lord, why?”, becomes a mantra of everyday life.
I know my current sufferings and desolations are nothing compared to what my Lord experienced, but still, it hurts and hurts deeply. We pray for humility but when that humility comes as we experience ripping and tearing of our integrity, despondency rises in power.
I believe Jesus knew the cross was going to be hard and hurtful, but until it was happening, I doubt he had a pre-consciousness of just how the pain would come and how soul searing it would be.
None of us know when desolation will strike, but we do know it will come. When it comes, there is little we can do to prepare for just how bad it will hurt. Still, like our Lord, we can know it will pass and it will end (though sometimes we wonder if this is true).
So today, I hold to the gift I received yesterday as a child would hold a security blanket or a lover would hold their beloved.
I am aware the issues I now face will likely pursue and disturb me as I seek to serve in a denomination of good accountability but blemished with a few who are willing to use any weakness or perceived error by someone to advance their own status or agenda. Yet, the consolation I was given yesterday reminds me the One I love and serve will open doors no human or diabolical power can close.
For this I am most thankful. Because of Jesus, we always can have hope. Because of Jesus I have hope.