Today’s post marks a milestone for me: this is number 100. I’d like to say that in the weekly musings about ministry I’ve made over the last two years that I’ve learned something, that I’ve made some progress. Through writing about my experiences in trusting God through the departing of our oldest to college and our moving to a new house, I’d like to think that I’ve grown. Through sharing about the visits to the eye doctor and the ‘sheltering in place’ a year ago I hope that I have matured. Through the triumphs and travails of ministering in a big city small church I pray I’ve developed in character and integrity.
I guess the most important lesson I’ve learned in looking back through the posts is that God doesn’t promise us pretty; He promises us good. Most of the time my life is a mess. If you’ve spent any time reading what I’ve written in the past 99 posts, you know I’m right. I have a wonderful wife that I don’t appreciate as I should. I have four wonderful children that are often sticky and frustrating and grating and great. I have a fabulous extended family and a few friends that I forget to call and fail to acknowledge more often than I should. I have been blessed to work and minister alongside an amazing congregation full of quirks and questions that I more than occasionally fail to appreciate or address.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Like I said, God doesn’t promise pretty; He promises good. As the Apostle Paul said in his letter to the church in Rome, God works all things – both the glorious and the ghastly things – for the good of those who love Him. I find great comfort in the fact that God does, in fact, bless this mess; that He can fashion something good out of all these ugly incidents in my life. God can take all the mistakes and missteps that one can make and form them into something fantastic. While there may never, on this side of glory, be a way to make sense of much of the disasters we must deal with, they are never senseless before God.
So what will the next 100 posts detail? I can only assume it will not be pretty: it will snow on Sunday mornings, I will suffer insect bites that make my arm turn blue, those I love will be hurt, there will be days of great losses and confusing forks in the road. There will also be beauty: I will (presumably) celebrate my 25th anniversary, people will grow in faith, there will be graduations and birthdays, victories and gains. There will be peaks and valleys. But it will all be good … eventually and ultimately.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to read my posts. I hope that I have provided some encouragement along the way. If I have, I guess that is pretty good.