It is 3:30 a.m., and I woke up with an unusual clarity. I wish I could return to sleep, but I know that I am too awake to even pretend that I could lay down and drift back into unconsciousness. As of late, I can count the exact time that I will get up after taking my nightly medicine. I am good for about five hours of sleep. After that, any more is an added bonus.
As I open the day remaining quiet before God, I am reminded that today will be a very tough day full of meetings and visits. I will talk to those who are struggling with illness and the remnants of what disease does to a family and a body. I will sit down with a group of people and talk about the vision for ministry and how we live out our faith as a body of believers united in thought as to where we are being led to serve our God. None of it is easy, but all of it is sacred and holy. Set apart for divine ordinance.
Through these common days, in uncommon situations, I pray that the Spirit of God intertwines the divine throughout all of the different scenarios that I will face today. I pray that somehow the holiness of God may fill my lips and presence, so that when I am walking into a room, or greet someone at the door of their home, they may not see me, but see our Amazing God working through me. May I be the conduit through which others see God. And as St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach, and when all else fails, use words.”
There are times as a pastor that I am humbled with an awareness that my task is not an easy one, for we surrender ourselves to be in service to others. We pray for wisdom, seeking holy light to guide our path. It is a difficult path, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. This is where I am best used by the Holy One; holding the hand of those who struggle, or may be walking alongside someone who walks through through the valley of the shadow of death. I believe that the power of the passage from Psalm 23 is made real through community. God, through the help of brothers and sisters in the faith will be there in the darkest of times.
For today, I pray for wisdom and holy guidance. I pray for the family groups that I will see in a few hours, that through the chaos of disease, anxiety, and grief, God may be able to create beauty. This is where I find my hope and strength; that the Holy One of Isreal is still in the business of creation. Even in the darkest hours of the soul.
Thanks be to God for the incredible depth of His love. Amazing grace, that is so vast and deep that I cannot touch the bottom, nor can I reach the shore. It is that big, and that wide. How amazing is our God? Praise be to the One who continues to save us. Even in the very darkest of circumstances.