I've been in my position at Bethel Reformed Church for about a month and a half now and it's been an interesting one. Full of challenges both personally and professionally-- which for me are kind of blurred together. I have yet to figure out what my overall role is and at times feel like a triangle peg in an obtuse hole. Church revitalization is a mad, mad beast that has no reigns. At times it can get very disheartening. Those who have talked to me in the last couple of weeks have certainly heard of my struggles. But where, I ask, where is the hope in all of this?
1 Timothy 4:10 has an answer:
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
If I look to any place other than God for my satisfaction in the task at hand, then I misplace my focus and make that my God. Whether I'm looking to how well I preach or how many people are coming to the church, then I have misplaced priorities and I make something other than God god. Scripture calls that idolatry and we do it all the time, regardless of our intentions.
But if I'm placing my hope on the living God that He will move in his time and in His ways, then all that I do is a reflection of this hope, a patient expectation of what God is doing. If I try to move things in my timing, if I continue to be frustrated at my sermons, if I continue to agonize over the things that I cannot control, I will never recognize where God is moving and how He is shaping me to be the pastor that He has called me to be-- not my ideal of what I am to be.
Even at 27 years of age, it becomes frustrating to think of how much longer it will take to come into "my own." But in reality, I should never come into "my own," but always be pushing on toward Jesus and drawing nearer to him.
That I may never think I have arrived, but always seek to draw closer to my Savior.