Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just for Me

Have you ever read something or heard something that seemed like God meant it just for you?  Maybe it was something said on the radio that spoke to a situation you were experiencing.  Or maybe you have had someone send you a card or poem that was perfect for whatever you were going through, only they didn't know.  Possibly it was a scripture verse that just jumped off the page with what I call "holy highlighting" and you have a God moment.  I believe God gives us words of encouragement or guidance with perfect timing.  Only...do we receive them?

Many times the still small voice of God is drowned out by our own worries, the voices of others, or our own agendas.  It is easy to rationalize our desires or the desires of others to whom we are close, and allow these rationalizations to sway our desire to follow God.  When we do this we tend to become confused.  I think having an open heart to hearing God speak at all times, not just when we are troubled, is the key to hearing God well.  If we recognize the still small voice in the little things of life, then we are more accustomed to hearing God speak in the big things.

Last week I heard God speak to me in my morning devotions with "Pray as You Go."  Now you would expect God to talk to you in morning devotions, right?  Well of course you would!  Today, however, I distinctly heard God say to me, "do not be afraid."  Awesome right!  You know what "do not be afraid" generally indicates right?  That you are afraid. 

Three months after Christmas the scripture referenced in the devotional was Matthew 1:18-25, the verse of the angel appearing to Joseph.  Joseph had a situation land in his lap.  He was planning to handle a "wrong" done to him in the most merciful, compassionate way of the time.  I'm certain he wrestled with this choice, his own worries and concerns, as well as the outside voices that would have contributed to his anxiety.  But there was one more voice.  In verse 20 we hear the voice say, "Joseph...do not be afraid."  Scripture does not say that after this everything went perfect for Joseph and Mary, but through whatever might come they could trust and not be afraid.

My family and I are getting ready to move.  This means we will be leaving one congregation and meeting another.  There are many worries that comes when this happens.  Packing, ugh!  Is this the right decision?  How will the church you dearly love and are leaving transition to their new pastor?  How will the church to which you are going welcome you and your family when they are losing a pastor they love?  Will I be able to live up to the many expectations that are placed on me in my new location?  How will my family do with the move? And the questions could go on and on and on.  But I heard God speak to me, "do not be afraid."  This was very helpful in calming my anxiety and fears over whether or not this decision is right.  "Do not be afraid" breaks into the darkness of my fears and banishes them in the light of Christ in my world. 

Sometimes, God follows these words of encouragement with something that just shouts, "see God is in this!"  And that happened two days after my morning devotion which told me, "do not be afraid."  I found that a good friend of mine will be coming to serve the church I am leaving.  So the church I love will be ministered to by someone I love.  God said, "see I told you, nothing to worry about." 

Of course there are still concerns.  Did I mention packing?  Ugh!  There are stresses that come from transitioning to a new job, moving to a new community, leaving people you love, and in all of these things I can know with surety I do not need to be afraid. 

8 comments:

Whidbey Woman said...

Amen! Go forth in peace. God has already paved the way, and all you leave behind is in His hands.

sarah said...

it is scary moving...leaving all that's familiar...but no matter what we do it's always easier...less scary with Him. Go safe...Sarah

Georgia said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. May God richly bless you today and every day!

Happy Palm Sunday!

Lisa said...

God cares about what we care about and He is working it all out! Thanks for a wonderful post! Praying for an easy move and transition for you and your family.

enchantingcottage said...

It sounds like God is sending you somewhere that you need to be. It will be interesting to find out just why he wants you there.
I will pray for you and your family during your move.
God Bless,
Ginger

Charlotte said...

Sounds like God is confirming that you are making the right move. It is always hard to leave old friends and "old" churches, but I found in the moves we made when my husband was a pastor we always found new friends and even though we had left the old ones, they are still our friends even now. We've recently made connection on facebook with a lot of people from a church we were with back in the 1960s. We hadn't seen them in over 40 years. We also have friends from the church we left 20 years ago and the one we left 6 years ago. If you're not on facebook, you should consider it.
Grace and peace to you.
Charlotte

Rev. Sonja said...

Charlotte, yes, I am on facebook, and I have stayed in touch with many friends that way.

Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement in this. Sarah, I agree that everything in life is less scary with God by your side.

Robin said...

Rev.Sonja,We are looking forward to you coming!