A few weeks ago, I had our “Day with the Bishop” where clergy from the Rockford and Dekalb districts (in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church) met with Bishop Hee-Soo Jung. It was during that meeting that I remembered that it was on last year’s day with the Bishop that life started to change for me and for the life of the church I serve. It was then that I found out that our Senior Pastor had been appointed to be a District Superintendent and soon would find out that the other 2 pastors were being appointed elsewhere. We would be receiving two more pastors and I would be staying. Oh my! Living with the unknown became the norm for awhile. The anxiety of what would be, what could be, was overwhelming. It is great to be able to look back and celebrate the faithfulness of our God. We received a new Senior Pastor and new Associate Pastor. They both bring a wealth of gifts with them and it is clear that God has called them to be at this place at this time. Likewise, those that have moved on have found a place that the Almighty has prepared for them.
Psalm 139:5 reminds us that God goes before us and behind us. We are surrounded and loved by our faithful God who doesn’t leave us or abandon us, even as we walk into the unknown roads of this life.
I encourage you to look back over the past year and reflect on both the joyful places as well as those that may have caused you anxiety. I invite you to see God’s Hand upon your circumstances; the places where you can celebrate the faithfulness of God. Also acknowledge those places where you held tight, trying to control the direction of your life or worry yourself sick over life circumstances. May this next year be one where we not only rejoice in how God does not abandon us but also, because of that knowledge, we can walk in greater trust and obedience.