"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
This is my favorite Bible verse. It has really spoke to me during many times in my life and it has been kind of my mantra through my last few years of ministry. It was what I repeated over and over as I started seminary; every time I went before the district board for my interviews; for my first assignment away from my home church, throuh my first appointment as a solo pastor (did I mention that we had walls literally falling down because of ice damning on the roof) and of course as I came back to CUMC to serve my home congregation and step into the pain they were all experiencing with the loss of their pastor.
I found that it is an important step in our faith to trust God during times of transition, times of change. Together, we are facing such a time at CUMC. Pastor Dick has been with this congregation for 15 years and so this will be a change that will be felt. I would have to imagine that he is probably somewhat fearful stepping into his new role but he knows that God is going with him and is even going ahead preparing the Dekalb District for him.
We need not fear because our God will not leave us, God is going ahead into this unknown future and laying groundwork for what is to come. For many, church is that one safe place that doesn't change. I was reminded by a very wise man :-) that God is the only One true constant we have. We, as the church will carry on worshipping God and living out the Great Commission to GO, making disciples for the transformation of the world.
We like the illusion of control, knowing what is going to happen next. We have the opportunity to live out the model of trusting God, even when it hurts, even when it's scary, even when we cannot fathom what that could be like. God has called us to be strong and courageous, to not be fearful because God is going with us. I find comfort and strength in this. I hope you can, too.