I have had some friends that worry about me. They are afraid I am setting myself up for a fall. They are afraid that if I do not find a church to serve that I will slip back into the darkness and self-doubt that lead me into the crisis of a few years ago. I can fully understand their concern. As I stated in a previous blog, I face an uphill battle in our current culture. Everything from my age, my defeats, and my struggles make me a not-very-likely candidate to pastor a church. One friend even told me I was trying to reinvent myself again. I replied to this friend that if I was trying to reinvent myself, I hope I would fail miserably.
I am seeking to serve again because I have felt a movement of God in my soul to do so. This gives me all the confidence that I need to pursue this path. Also, God has given me a gift. The gift is that of patience. I am not going to go into panic mode if I do not immediately get an invitation to return to the pastorate. The very fact that God wants me to seek is good enough for me.
I have already faced a multitude of doubts and fears. I have already faced waves of discouragement and disappointment. These have come during attempts by the enemy to bind me to desolation. However, I know that desolation does not come from God. I will not let the enemy’s efforts overcome me. God has made me a promise that I now fully understand. God will not forsake me, abandon me, or give up on me. God will act in my favor. The Holy Spirit of God lives in my heart. God will not make a church call me. God does not work in this manner. I would not want God to work in this manner.
I have never felt closer to the Lord than I feel now. Even though I now live on the edge of poverty, living with the physical challenges that aging has brought into my life, and must contend with mean memories, I know God loves me. I know that the time I have now I have because of God. I have been given the opportunity to learn how to love more deeply. I have learned that the mean memories do not define me. I know that I can find peace no matter what situation or circumstance I will face.
I have learned to reflect. I have learned to contemplate. I have learned to meditate. I have found prayer much more satisfying. I am a traveler on a spiritual journey. I have discovered which paths are beneficial and which lead to snares and traps. I know I do not walk alone. I feel certain there is a church, a gathering, that can benefit from my experiences and knowledge granted to me by our Lord. It may take a long, long time to find somewhere to land. Until that time I will rejoice in patience, promise, and the purpose that God has given to me. I will write sermons and blogs. I will witness and love. I will study and be ready.
People used to say, “If you see David and a bear get into a fight, pray for the bear.” Now, I have no doubt the bear would win, but instead of fighting the bear you will see me striving to feed the bear. Such are the blessings of God.