My 2-year-old Emma’s favorite joke right now is; “Knock, Knock”.
I reply, “Who’s there?”.
“Interrupting cow,” she says.
Before you can finish your statement you are interrupted. That’s the joke. I’ve been wondering lately if this is God’s favorite joke too. Up until recently, I was living out my version of a long-term plan. Then God said, “Moooooo-ve.” Literally, he interrupted my version of life, ministry, and location. God has made it clear that He is going to do something new in my life and ministry.
I don’t often write about my personal life on here but perhaps this is as good a time as ever. Perhaps you can identify with me or even just support my family with your prayers. Whatever the outcome I hope that this blog connects with you in some way and helps us both move forward with faith.
My role as Student Pastor here in South Carolina will be ending in about 6 weeks. It’s difficult to think of leaving the relationships and the ministry that God has allowed me to do. We will dearly miss our student community that has become family to us. But, I know that God will provide for both of us and that He only asks us to surrender one thing in order to give us something better. God is in the midst of all of this. Through this season I know that God has called me to surrender. He’s called me to surrender things that were His in the first place and to trust Him. Nothing happens outside of His love and grace and it is that grace that we depend upon and press in to.
Surrender is never easy but always beneficial. It’s counterintuitive. The act of surrender means to let go of something. This makes you feel as though the decision of surrender is a loss. But when God’s involved in surrender it’s about freeing up space in your hands for you to receive something else, something greater. My hands are empty now.
Interruptions can be frustrating, or they can be freeing. It just depends on who’s interrupting you and why. When God interrupts you – listen. I’ve been listening a lot lately and I’ve heard things there in the interruption that I would have missed otherwise. God has shown me powerful things about myself and about His faithfulness. There is a sense of anticipation, a dream of what could be next. But, I don’t know where God wants me to minister next. I don’t know where God want’s my family to live. I don’t know what to do with our house. I don’t know when my hands will be filled again. Nothing to hard for God to handle.
Until then I keep my hands outstretched and empty.
I love adventure. I love to get out and run Spartan obstacle course races. I was able to do both an 8 mile and a 12 mile one last fall. They provide a map of the course but I never study it. The unpredictability of a new course is exciting. You can’t always see around the corner. You don’t always know what’s up ahead and how to adjust to it. There could be tree roots, rocks, mud, or water that will interrupt your stride. These things can alter your rhythm and your footing. However, I feel differently about my relationship with God. I love to run with him through the adventure of life but I’d rather see the map. He likes to keep those twists and turns hidden. Why doesn’t the creator of the trail just tell us what’s up ahead?
The interruptions of the trail can be a test of skill. The interruptions of your life can be a test of your faith in God’s skill. I do believe in the ability of God to work all things together for good for those that love Him. I believe that He only takes us from good to great. Don’t trust your ability to “fix” things and make it all better, lean into the skill of God.
The in-between is always the hardest. It’s those awkward moments of empty hands waiting to be filled again. The distance between where you stand right now and where God is taking you seems large. The question of “why” has long since been left behind. The question now is “how”. How are we going to get there, God? I hold on to this: if I can trust God for my eternity surely I can trust him with my tomorrow.
Will you trust God with us for what’s next? For something great? For joy in the surrender? For faith to embrace the interruption as divine redirection?
I covet your prayer support and partnership as my family seeks to follow God and move forward into what’s next. Someday this will all make a perfect story of God’s grace and glory and we can celebrate together.