I’ll take an exemption please!


I use to think that because we were in ministry that really hard times would not fall on us. Sure, living on a pastor’s salary made for some penny pinching days, but when it came to the BIG, foreboding trials, I thought maybe it would bypass our home. Especially since God put us in the role of comforting and ministering to others during those times.

Like most in full time ministry, I knew all the verses to encourage others with…the ones that give you a stronger grip on your faith. I can see the error in that thinking as I say it…”give you a stronger grip”…like our faith is even our own.

It seems easy to think that because we are doing God’s comforting, soothing and carrying of burdens that it would be enough for us to not have to face our own. Naïve. Maybe even a bit prideful. That’s what hindsight tells me.

God’s plan to grow us often includes sifting through hard times. For example, being on the cusp of a possible scary diagnosis can really tease and taunt one’s faith. And I mean the faith that happens behind closed doors. The kind of faith that allows you to question, to express doubt, to wrestle, to put your stake in the ground of ultimate surrender to God’s plan and order.

Ecclesiastes 11:10 says, “So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.”

Other versions use words like sorrow, anger, discontent, anxiety. When we face the uncertain, are stuck in a holding pattern, or waiting for news, we are to remove the thoughts that cause us to think our ways are ultimately God’s.   Usually they are not, and I need to be careful to not assume I understand His mind.

Solomon reminds us that time marches on, seasons change, we change. Our bodies don’t stay in the prime of life no matter how hard we fight it. We can spin our wheels trying to figure things out, but ultimately God holds it all in his hands. All of it!

Solomon doesn’t just leave us there, (Thank you Solomon!) because the very next verse in Ecclesiastes 12:1 (which we often forget to read things in context) says, “Remember also your Creator…”

Remember. Not worry. Remember.

Remember who? YOUR CREATOR!!! Solomon takes it right back to one of the first roles we know God in. Creator over everything!

He started, initiated, thought through, planned, formed, created, set in motion, sustains, maintains, and supplies it ALL.

Can I get an AMEN!?! Praise the one who created it, praise Him all for all He has done! It is He who knows, He who cares, He who delivers us today!


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