As the title indicates, God is a big God. God can handle so much of what we have to say. From being angry, sad, confused, anxious, what have you, God can take it. God has always been able to take it. That has never changed. I would like to start out from the beginning that this is not a self-pitty post. This is an expression of a lesson which Shelby and I have had to learn within this academic year.
Many people knew beginning at the end of last August and early September we were in talks with a church to be their pastors. We were excited. We were excited about finances being more free from their respective stresses, we were excited to be living in a full-sized house, and I especially was exicted to preach every Sunday. That journey took a bit longer than anticipated only to end in a “no” from the church. As bitter as I have tried not to be, sometimes I failed. Miserably. I have met the pastor whom they called, and I am thankful he is there. He is a good fit for them, and I pray God blesses him and his soon-to-be wife with an abundant and fruitful ministry. This story is not the point of this post, but only a foundation.
Within the last week or so I received a call from a member of the pastoral search committee at the First Baptist Church of Iredell (approximately one hour away from Waco). He had asked me (strong and pointed) initial questions of my beliefs over different doctrines and ministerial practices, and informed me of the salary and the parsonage available should the committee decide to invite us out there. I was excited. Shelby was excited. We were joyful at the prospect of once again living in a house, being with a church, and I, of course, was excited about preaching. About 20 minutes ago, I was informed of their decision to pursue a candidate “in their own backyard” (the member’s words) but that I would be next on the list should that turn out horrendously. To be honest, the cynical side of me wants that to happen. However, the other side wants the right person to be serving that church; no matter who it is.
So why the title? The title because I want to be angry with God. I am confused at why God would introduce this church to us only for them to go a different direction. I hear that happens in ministry, which certianly is no fun at all. I suppose you could say we put our joy much before what would actually happen. At the same time, we found it exceedingly hard not to. Who wouldn’t be excited? So I am thankful God is a big God because of the emotional rollercoaster I just exited. The phone rang, my heart sped up, then my heart sank. I know, a lot for only having talked to them a week earlier. But no matter what emotions well up within me, God can handle them. I’m sure of it.
You may not be anywhere close to the same boat that I am in. Yet, if there is anything I want to accomplish through this post, it is that you would be encouraged in the times where you are confused at what God is doing in your life. Times where it seems God is calling you one direction, only to have that door (seemingly) slammed shut. Tell God how you feel about it. God has been God for a very long time. We have been telling God how we feel for a long time. Read the Bible. Israel did it constantly. They complained. Even when God provided they complained, but God never left their side. God never broke the covenant. I’m not saying God is going to make a covenant with us for a “specific direction” and place we are supposed to go. What I am saying is that God will never lead us wrong. God will never leave us. God will always listen to what you have to say. Have you talked to God today?