Monday, October 8, 2012

Not Abandoned

I've written this blog post several times in my mind over the past few weeks and it's always been a celebratory "We're moving ..." post.  Sadly this is not the case today.

As most of you know, James has been in the process with a church in northern Kentucky in view of a call to the pastorate.  After almost 2 months, 7 sermons, and many afternoons spent talking (and bonding) with various church members the vote on Sunday was not the unanimous vote for which we were hoping.  We are disappointed, to put it mildly.

The pulpit committee is equally disappointed.  Mr. Dave, who called James with the news said, "This beats all I've ever seen.  We're in a mess here."  So it would appear on both sides that we're left wondering what in the world God is up to in this situation.

We have no idea what God is trying to teach us through this. Patience? Discernment? Perseverance? Who knows right now ... we may never know this side of heaven. 

Some have tried to encourage us with the thought that God has something better in store.  Possibly.  God definitely can use discouraging situations to bring about good for his people; think - Joseph, Ruth, etc...  However God may not intend for there to be something "better."  The Bible is also full of accounts of his beloveds who live (their entire lives basically) in discouraging, depressing situations; think - Jeremiah, Leah, etc...  So while we do hope God has something else in store for us, we must be honest and say that may not be his plan.  We know so many godly single friends who earnestly desire a spouse yet the Lord does not see fit to bless in that way - or our married friends who struggle with infertility and despite the begging of saints on their behalf the Lord has yet to open the womb. 

So to be realistic, we must confess that the Lord's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts and the Lord may be trying to teach us to be content and obedient where we are, even if it's not where want to be.

But hope is not lost ...

As James and I have tried to process this over the past 24 hours, we're left with only one comforting thought.

- God has not abandoned us.

How do we know this?  I can tell you that it's not because we have felt an overwhelming sense of God's presence these past few days because we haven't.  It's simply because God's word says he won't abandon us - we're forced to trust even though we don't "feel like it."

The Lord in his kindness, led us to this video last week of CJ Mahaney preaching on Psalm 42 entitled "The Troubled Soul."  At that time it was simply a good word; but now it is applicable to our situation of discouragement and we are thankful that though we didn't know it - the Lord was apparently preparing us.

So please pray for the Lackeys:

- Encouragement.  We are so needy of the Lord's grace right now.
- Renewed Motivation.  James is not looking forward to starting the process again.  It's so discouraging to send out resume after resume and either hear nothing (often the case) or get a "thanks, but no thanks" over and over again.
- Praise.  While this didn't turn out the way we were hoping, the Lord is still worthy of our praise.  We did make some great friends, though mostly likely short-term.  James has seven good sermons ready to go at a moment's notice.  God is still good, regardless.

And because I don't want to be a "Debbie Downer,"  here's a cute picture to get you through until the next time ...

Who needs a pacifier when you have toes :)

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