“…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Today was a difficult day.
It should have been a day of celebration—and I suppose in a way, it was. But not in the way I envisioned it would be.
Two years ago today I started working part-time as an Administrative Aide at a local church (which is just a fancy way of saying I’m a Church Secretary). Never in my life have I felt more led by God to accept a job, and I greatly enjoy the work I do each day. It’s an awesome feeling when you know you’re exactly where the Lord wants you. I love the job I do, and I feel a great deal of satisfaction knowing the time I spend working each day makes the church family’s life a little easier. Even though it’s only part-time position, I believe this job is more fulfilling than any other employment I’ve ever had.
When I started working there two years ago—assisting the the pastor of the church–never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that this wonderful young man, who I’ve come to know as a dear friend, would now be gone. Of course, illness can strike at any time and at any age but when it affects someone in the prime of their life, it’s heartbreaking. Even though he was a young man with four dear children still at home, a week ago God made the decision to take him home to Heaven—much earlier than any of us who loved and knew him would have liked.
Today we held a Celebration of Life service for him.
It’s been a difficult week for the entire church, and I’ve grieved the loss right along with his wife and children, parents, and the church family. Even though we know our loss is Heaven’s gain and that Pastor is so much happier where he is—in the arms of his Lord and Savior—it doesn’t mean he won’t be missed.
Unfortunately, I was only able to work with this sweet, gentle man for a year and a half before he became ill. For the past six months he was in and out of hospitals, physically losing ground each time. Instead of working at his side, I suddenly found myself working alone, making decisions without him, and feeling the loneliness you only feel in a dark and empty church.
Several members of the congregation have told me they think God sent me to their church because He knew this was going to happen. I don’t really want to hear that as it makes my job there seem to be a great deal more significant than I feel it is.
But part of me wonders if they’re right. Did God bring me here, to this spot at this exact time, because He knew I would be needed?
It’s a pretty humbling experience to think He trusts me enough to send me to do His work someplace. I’m certainly no one special.
I’m well aware though that not everyone would be able to handle the quiet and loneliness. Not everyone would be able to function without having others to talk with on a day-to-day basis. Fortunately, I’ve always been a loner and a self-starter, so being alone doesn’t bother me all that much. I’ve managed to keep busy; there’s always something to do.
And during the past six months when Pastor hasn’t been there, but instead has been in the hospital, God and I have had a lot of in-depth conversations. I’ve argued with Him, feeling much like David must have in the book of Psalms. I’ve begged Him, much as Job did in the book of Job. And I’ve finally accepted His calling me to be in this place, during this time—much as Esther did in the book of Esther. For such a time as this . . .
It’s never easy to lose a loved one—especially one who (at least in my estimation) had so much work yet to do for the Lord. But I know—without a shadow of doubt—that God never makes mistakes, and His timing is always perfect. Why He chose me to be here, in this circumstance, during this particular time, I may never know. I just have to trust in His wisdom and timing.
I also know that my dear Pastor friend would not want me to end this post without asking you a very important question: Do you know his friend Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you surrendered your life to Him?
It may sound like such a difficult thing to do—but in reality it is extremely simple. If you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to ask Jesus into your heart. It’s the most important and best decision you’ll ever make. Surrender your heart and your life to Him, and I guarantee, you’ll never be sorry.
It was certainly the best decision I ever made, and I will continue to follow His leading the rest of my life. He’s never let me down.
God bless you always,