I have heard it said that there are seasons of life that we all go through; to that I can only agree. Change seems to be the one constant in life and it is also the most frustrating and at times painful. One thing that I have taken great comfort in is that through it all Jesus never changes, He is the rock and anchor for our soul that we can cling to when times are hard.
This year has seen a lot of change and some loss for our family. From my son heading to military to my mother who is not going to be here on earth much longer; honestly I am sick and tired of change and loss. When I was a young pastor I struggled to know how to minister to those that have suffered loss. I did not know the words to say to the mother whose arms are empty when they should be full. I could feel the pain coming from the widow who now comes home to an empty, quiet house but I could not really understand. The one thing that I did know was that the tired cliché phrases where not good enough, so I learned to say little and listen much.
Now that I am facing the loss of my own mother I find that I am not ready to see her leave this world. I beat my fist against my bible and like a child I demand that God hear my cry and give me a reason for it all. For whatever reason the only answer that I am given (not that God owes me an answer) is that I am to allow this interruption and listen to what He is telling me through it.
As Americans we are for the most part doers. We inherently think that we can solve our problems by doing something, almost as if action and activity will accomplish our goals. As Christians we need to do just the opposite. In Psalm 46:10 the psalmist writes that we need to “…be still and know that He is God.” I have long pondered that verse but now I am beginning to understand what it means. When interruptions in our lives happen it is an opportunity to pause and listen to what God is trying to tell us.
I still do not have answers as to why God allows one person to die and another to live. The pain I feel as my mother slips closer to heaven is raw and visceral and something that I cannot put into words. I do however take comfort in the verse, “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:1-8 NLT) I may not have all the answers but I have faith that God has a plan for my life. I have faith that in these interruptions in what I think my life should be, He is shaping me for something greater than anything I can imagine.
Pastor AL, servant of the living God, serves with his family at First Baptist Church of Kenai. The folks at First Baptist are a warm and loving fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.