We have been waiting. We are waiting. A few words on the past wait and then a few on the present one.
My wife, Robin, and I have been waiting on a call to pastor a church. Actually, I have been the one waiting for the call. I’m the one with the seminary degree and who feels led by God to serve as a pastor. But we go as a couple, (and even better with our daughter, as a family), to wherever it is that God is leading. So in a sense we are both called. We both need to feel that the place where I am called is the place where God is leading both of us to serve among His people.
Last week the call came and I will be serving as the pastor of the Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church in Dulce, NM. We don’t know the particulars of when we will be moving but we are beginning to pack and dispose of some things we won’t be need when we get there.
The waiting has been longer than we anticipated it would be. I graduated from seminary two years ago and at that time we imagined things would be settled in less than a year. I sent information out to many churches and had an interview every few months, rising on the lists of several search committees but never reaching the top until last week.
That process was occasionally disappointing but we were okay with it. We never expected God’s call to be something that would dramatically come in all capital letters, i.e. “BRAD, I AM SENDING YOU TO…” We did think that however long it took that things would work out in a reasonable manner, following the steps of the process our denomination uses. And it has.
Our time of waiting has been good for us. It has allowed us to spend some time with family and friends that we hadn’t anticipated having. It has allowed us to practice patience in circumstances that could easily have pushed our patience to its limits. It has allowed us to think through some of the implications of our eventual move and make decision about things that hadn’t come to mind earlier. We have trusted that God knew what was in our future and that He would reveal it according to His plan.
We are glad to be done waiting for a call, and to know where and with whom we will be serving. What we have been waiting for is now in the past.
And we are waiting. Yesterday the verdict came down in the George Zimmerman case, where he was charged in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. I’ll state at the beginning that I only know the barest of the facts of the case from when the shooting first took place and I haven’t followed any of the coverage of the trial.
My wife has followed the case, and she has an understanding of the issues underlying it that I don’t have. She raised two biracial children in her first marriage. As we traveled in the car yesterday she shared with me a perspective on race that I wouldn’t have come to know any other way. She also wrote about some of her thoughts in her blog, which can be read here.
I don’t know much about the Zimmerman case but as I consider what little I do know of it, add the insight Robin has given me into racial issues, and remember the presence of injustice large and small throughout our world, I am reminded that we who call ourselves disciples of Christ Jesus are still waiting.
We are waiting for the promised return of our Lord and Savior, and with His return the setting right of all things, for all time.
I could wait for His return passively, sitting and reading my Bible, which teaches that things will get worse before He comes. I could wait knowing that injustice of every kind will escalate, taking forms that I can barely imagine.
Or I can wait actively, knowing that in the big picture He calls all of His disciples to discern and be obedient to His will. In what ways and in what places is God calling me to use the gifts He has given me to shine His light in an unjust world? That is the question before me, again, and again.
The last words in the Bible attributed to Jesus are Revelation 22:20,
“Surely, I am coming soon.”
And I as I remember this promise of Jesus I join the Apostle John in his response,
“Amen. Come Lord Jesus.”
We are waiting, in confidence, for the glorious return of the King.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.