The setting is the late 1970’s. My husband, Jim, had been the Minister of Music at our church for several years, the children were young and all was right with my world. As I mentioned last week, my growing-up family had moved about every two years, so I relished being in this one place for a good while.
Added to that, my parents had decided to move to our city of Somerset, Kentucky. How wonderful that our children would have the joy of seeing their grandparents often.
My world fell apart when Jim said a search committee from another state had called and wanted us to go there to meet with them. We were happy in our present church and had received other calls like this, but Jim reasoned that if we never followed up, we might be missing a new direction God had for us.
Nothing in me wanted to submit to this idea. I struggled for days over this. Then the Lord kept saying in my mind, “Joyce, do you love me?”
Jesus’ conversation with Peter came to mind. Remember, Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times. After the resurrection, Jesus pulled him aside one day and asked,
“Simon, do you truly love me more than these?” John 21:15
Three times Jesus asked that question and Peter was to able to affirm his love and acknowledgment of Jesus—three times
Every time I prayed, that question came to my mind, “Joyce, do you love me more than these?” Do you love the stability, the routine, your parents move more than me?
As I walked down our hall at home, I saw anew the plaque we had on the wall. It simply said, “Acknowledge me.” Of course, I thought of the whole verse.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
God reminded me that He needed to be included in this process. It took a while, but I finally realized I must not lean on my own understanding and my own desires, but acknowledge him.
So, we made arrangements to go and talk to the committee. We were both torn with how to respond. I felt like we were in an empty room with one door opened this way and another door opened that way, not knowing which door to go through.
A few days later, the committee chairman called and said their pastor had resigned and they would have to put their energies into looking for a new pastor, so they would have to set the music position aside.
As you can see, God himself closed one of those two doors, and lessons of submission were taught in the process.
This verse is likely a favorite verse for many of you. I would love to hear how it has impacted your life.
~ Joyce ~