My husband Jim had been serving for several years as Minister of Music at our church. The chairman of a search committee called from another state and wanted us to come for an interview/visit. Seems like a simple thing. Go. Check it out. Decide. But here’s the back story. Growing up, I had moved every two years of my life (my dad’s job.) I was well settled for a few years now in our comfy home and active church. Our two small children were happy. The work was going well at church. Relationships were warm and friendly and to top it off, my parents had just moved to our town—the first time I had had them close in our married life. My little nest was just fine and dandy, thank you very much!
This inquiry to uproot did not set well. I hardly wanted to pray about it. Jim felt like we needed to at least check it out. How could we know it was not of the Lord if we didn’t follow through?
One day as I walked down the hall to our bedroom, I looked at the little plaque I had hanging on the wall.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him. Proverbs 3:6 (KJV)
“Acknowledge ” seemed to stand out like a flashing neon sign. “Okay, okay, I’ll talk to you, Lord.” I prayed obediently, asking for His will to be done, but begrudging the possible “consequences.” I thought about leaving our friends. I thought about our responsibilities at church. Who would do this? Who would do that? After all, weren’t we indispensable? The idea of Mom and Dad moving to town and then telling them, “Well, sorry, we’re moving away.” was more than I could even think about.
I knew the rest of the two verses from Proverbs and mulled over the words.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3;5-6
I agonized many days in prayer, trying desperately to “trust” and “lean” and “acknowledge” Him. Then one afternoon, as I sat on the sofa, He clearly spoke the words in my mind, “Joyce, do you love me?” Like Peter, my response was, “Why of course, Lord, you know I love you.” He didn’t tell me to feed his sheep; He just kept asking, “Do you love me more than these things?”
It was a process, but I finally realized that he wanted my full commitment to acknowledge Him more than anything or anybody else and to seek His will rather than my own. I asked Him to help me with the desires of my heart until I was finally willing, truly willing.
We traveled to the new church to visit. It was a pleasant enough experience and we weighed the possibilities. A couple of weeks later, the chairman of the committee called and said that the pastor had resigned to go to another church. The search for a Minister of Music would have to stop while they began the process of searching for a pastor. As quick as the door had opened, it now was shut.
You can see the obvious life lesson for me in this incident. He had tested me and taught me. It was not time for us to move on yet, but He wanted me to see that I needed to be willing and to learn the hard lesson of trust. In all of life’s decisions, He wanted to teach me that the first thing I need to do is to acknowledge Him. In so doing, I say to Him, “Yes, Lord, I love you.”
Perhaps you have had such a life lesson. I would love to hear about it.
~ Joyce ~