Due to our meeting / training with our pastoral interns last night I just left my stuff in the office because I knew I’d be back in a few hours. So, when I got up this morning to get some good old coffee I grabbed an old bible off the shelf at home and noticed some of my old journals sitting there. I read my assigned passages for today, prayed a bit then began looking through those old journals. My Lord!
Here is an entry from October 6, 2004
I painfully remember making this entry. There is nothing like planting a church like TRC that pushes a man to his breaking point, uncovers one’s glaring weaknesses for his own eyes to see (everyone else can see them, just not the person having them) and cause one to have to find Jesus to be enough. God was gracios and now TRC is 14 years old.
- Journal. It’s vital to one’s journey with the Lord for recording God’s grace and life and the merging of those. We will want to look back and see how God was at work.
- I’m reminded of how George Muller became one of my greatest mentors from afar. It’s important to learn from saints gone by. It’s sobering that, like them, we too will pass from life to life one day. It’s also vital to learn from their living and record how they are shaping your life. Find a person, read them, read about them and imitate their faith in Jesus. Write it down. You will be better for it. I read Muller almost as much as my bible. Some will criticize this, but it was key for me in this time. I was 7 months away from my dad dying of cancer, and his battle with it was hard to watch and walk through. As I read about Muller’s wife and her death and his preaching her funeral and Psalm 84:11, I was prepared to preach my own dad’s funeral in the coming months. I was strengthened.
- I’m reminded how much God has grown me as a man, a pastor, a leader, a husband and a daddy. I’m not who I was. By God’s grace, I’m better. It was nice to go back and see tangibly in writing the difference. We want to capture this kind of stuff because it bolsters our faith. God encountered me in this season not through others but he encountered me like never before I my faith grew leaps and bounds. We all need that.
- Pain brought on by God in difficulty leads to joy when he delivers us. Psalm 105 was key for me during this time, and to read on and see God’s deliverance was amazing. It brought tears of joy as I remembered God’s grace. We need that kind of stuff.
- None of us are bullet proof. We are all trying to hear and obey Jesus. Following Jesus can be hard. But God’s grace is strong!
- This whole time this morning was a result of me leaving my stuff at the office and having to fish for an old bible and running across my old journals. I wonder if the Lord was working providentially in such circumstances to arouse wonder in me toward him? That sounds just like God. Father is good and works for our good and he does so by bursting into our days in such a way. I’m thankful for that.
I hope this encourages you a bit.