Monday, March 19, 2012
MBM: God Led The Way
Memorial Box Monday was started by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity. She explains it there, so if you wish to read about it in detail please visit her blog. In short, MBM stories remind of us God's faithfulness, protection, and provision throughout our lives. Looking back and remembering those times sustains us and helps us grow in faith and steadfastness. God loves to bless His children. To Him be the Glory!
Today's story takes place in just the past couple of months, coming to fruition this past week. As most of you know Joel and I are both being treated for Lyme Disease and Joel has been on disability for 2 and 1/2 years because of the Lyme. Lately he has been filling in for pastors who need to be gone from their congregations and he also helped out one church for a couple of weeks before Christmas. The pastors always get "good reports" from their members when he fills he. I know I am prejudice, but he is an excellent preacher and teacher and several of the congregations told him and their pastors the same thing. Always nice when that happens, and part of God preparing and leading the way.
For the past few months Joel has been praying for purpose and place.....place and purpose. With retirement in our near future we were beginning to pray about these things. What did God have planned for our lives now, and would the place come first or the purpose?
Recently God spoke to Joel about being healed and there was some big, as Linny calls it, "microwave" healing instantly. Like overnight! There are also still crock pot healings taking place, but he is now able to work part time again due to the increase in his health. Yahoo! One more way God was preparing and leading the way.
A friend of his, Jack, has been an Interim Pastor for a congregation that is in the process of calling a pastor of their own and he talked to Joel a few weeks ago about a new geographical parish being formed with this church and 3 others who can no longer afford full time pastors. Once it is set up they will interview and call two pastors to take care of these 4 congregations. For now they need interim pastors to help them unite and form one parish. An exciting and new challenge for anyone who gets to be a part of this. Jack asked him if he would be interested in serving as one of the Interims and we talked and prayed about it. It sounded very interesting!
As time went by and we did not hear anything we figured the churches had gone another route. Then we heard that Joel's friend Jack had been called in for an interview for this new parish. Again no word for Joel so we felt God had other plans! A week later Joel got a call and they asked him to come in. They were interviewing 5 pastors for 3 positions, so we prayed God's will be done as Joel headed off to the interview. The purpose and place prayers again.
It turned out some of those interviewing Joel had heard him preach when he was doing fill-in work! He was not a stranger to the group, they liked what he had to say, and he was recommended for the position. Seems God had been preparing the way all along as Joel had been helping out in two of the four churches and the same geographic area as the four congregations are located. Looking back we can see the whole process and know that God has been working out His plan all along answering our prayers for place and purpose or purpose and place.
Joel would not have had the energy to take on this position if it were not for the healing that had taken place in his body just 7 weeks ago. He would not have had any connection with the council setting this up if he had not filled in for pastors over the past few months. Joel already has knowledge of this kind of parish as one member of his colleague group is already in a geographic parish like this and has shared over the years how it works! And I cannot leave out the fact that financial provision will bless us at a time when we really need it.
God has worked it all out according to His plan and His timing. Don't you just love when that happens!!