2/26/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Where do you go? What do you do? When you become disappointed, discouraged, or even distraught, what comes next? This can happen to anyone. You lose a job, someone close to you dies, a confidence is broken, a disease wants to take over your body, or you find your loneliness too consuming to describe.
This particular event was the most difficult thing that Judy had ever gone through. We had invested our lives into this particular ministry, Judy as a volunteer, me as the director. When we arrived the ministry needed changes, so we both spend many many hours investing ourselves and our family in revitalizing this ministry.
After three years of involvement and hard work, we actually could see the ministry moving in the right direction. On a Thursday night my boss, who oversaw all the different ministries within our parent ministry, came to our property to have dinner with us in our dining facility. He said that he just wanted to come up to encourage us and to let us know how much we were appreciated and how excited everyone was at the direction the ministry was moving in.
Then on Saturday evening that same boss came to our ministry board meeting which I usually ran. At the beginning of the board meeting, my boss asked me to step out of the meeting as the board had something they needed to discuss. Although this had never happened before, I really didn’t think much of it. To be honest, I thought they were going to discuss giving me a raise, because I had not gotten one since I arrived 3 years prior.
After walking around the property for over an hour, I began to realize this isn’t about a raise!! I was called back into the office and told that the board had decided that they were going in a different direction and there would no longer be a need for my position. Then they asked me if I would stay on for another 6 weeks to help with the transition.
Needless to say, after our dinner meeting on Thursday, this came as a HUGE surprise. I told them that we would stay to help them with the transition as well as train their summer staff. Judy was devastated! Not only did we lose our job, we also lost the home that came with our job, and in all transparency, she wasn’t really that crazy about staying on for another 6 weeks!
After telling Judy what had happened, I went back to visit with the guests we had coming in that weekend. On Sunday morning after having breakfast with our guests, I went to my office and asked God what I was supposed to do. What did he want me to say to our full time staff that afternoon when I informed them of the decision from the night before? How could I minister to Judy as well as our two middle school children who also were devastated to think that we would have to move and leave our church as well as all their friends?
So I am sitting at my desk and as I am speaking to God, God begins to speak to me. Not in an audible voice, but in that still small voice. This voice spoke directly to my heart. It was something I had never experienced before or since. But as God was speaking, I began to write it down. This is what God said to me… “Brian & Judy, be encouraged…”
I am fair; I will not forget the work that you did and the love you have showed for me by helping my people. (Hebrews 6:10)
Be gentle and ready to forgive: never hold grudges. Remember I forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13)
The Lord your God is with you; the mighty one will save you. I will rejoice over you. You will rest in My love; I will sing and be joyful about you. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in your faith. (I Peter 5:8-9)
Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. (Romans 12:12)
Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven. (Luke 10:20)
Please run the race that is before you and never give up. (Hebrews 12:1)
May I enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope my call holds for you, what rich glories I have promised the saints will inherit. (Ephesians 1:18)
Then my heart heard, “Brian & Judy I want you to know that I love you more than anything. My whole purpose is to prepare you and your family to serve Me better. I would do nothing to hurt you or harm you. Let me quote one of my children Max Lucado, ‘I love you just the way you are, but I refuse to leave you that way, so be willing to risk whatever it takes to see Me.'” And then God said, “I love you.”
I don’t know what you are facing today, or next week… or next month… but whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity, worry, or depression. None of those responses are good for anyone! Whatever trial or difficulty you are going through, the Word of God is the medicine and the Peace of God is the cure.
One Word from God and everything changes…