With my search for a new pastoral call pretty much over, I would be remiss to not express gratitude for God and his many blessings through this long trial.
So, I’m grateful for:
- Jesus my Great High Priest, who sits upon the throne of grace that I might receive mercy and grace in my times of need (Hebrews 4). Indeed, a bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not put out.
- The Father was teaching me to rely not on myself but on Him who raises the dead (1 Corinthians 1).
- The Father’s “manna” from heaven that sustained us, inexplicably, through a long period of un/under-employment. He used so many people, in so many ways, to provide for us. We never missed a meal or a mortgage payment.
- For granting repentance regarding the idols He revealed in His occasionally severe mercy.
- For my wife. We were on the same page 97% of the time. She was supportive. I’ve seen many marriages really struggle in a time like this. Ours didn’t.
- For my kids. During this time we adopted CavSon without incurring any debt, and saw him through 3 surgeries without incurring any debt. They bring much joy to our hearts, often helping us to keep things in perspective (sorry daddy was so grouchy sometimes).
- For brothers, past and present, who wrote books that encouraged me including Tim Keller, Sinclair Ferguson, Richard Sibbes, John Newton and John Piper.
- For all the brothers and sisters who prayed for us, encouraged us and showed us kindness. This includes the friends I made on search committees that chose someone else. Some blessed our times of fellowship with good beer which didn’t ordinarily fit my budget.
- For the worship music of Jars of Clay, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and Indelible Grace for reminding me of the gospel when I was prone to fix my eyes upon my circumstances.
- For the many churches that welcomed me into their pulpits. It was great to meet so many people, serve them and be encouraged by them.