Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

When life doesn't make sense

It was about 11 years ago that my wife, Carolyn, and I struggled to decide whether or not to accept the invitation to pastor what is now LifePointe Church in the heart of Fallbrook.

It was a difficult decision. We were very comfortable back in our home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In many ways it did not make much sense. My wife, Carolyn, headed the local pregnancy resource center, and I pastored a remarkable and loving church that was growing rapidly and had just finished a major building program. It seemed as if we knew everyone in town, and as I said, we were comfortable.

And then one day God showed me that He had not called me “to be comfortable.”

The key moment for me came when I was visiting the presidential museum of another Grand Rapids native, former President Gerald R. Ford. I was by myself when I wandered outside onto the grounds to visit his gravesite. In the solitude of that haven I saw etched on his stone monument one of his favorite passages from the Bible. They were verses that had given him strength as he labored with the difficult decisions only he could make after the resignation of former President Richard Nixon: Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

Although I knew those verses well, it was as if God was issuing a challenge to me. A challenge to trust him even if I didn’t understand what he was up to. I left with a new awareness of how God moves. When God calls us to do something, too often we fail to do it because to us it doesn’t make sense. We “lean on our own understanding.” God tells us clearly to trust him even if we don’t understand his purposes.

As I said earlier, we were “comfortable” back in Michigan. But I realized that God does not call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust him and be “obedient.” One of my favorite sayings is that I want to experience God doing the “unexplainable.” I’ve learned that for that to happen we need to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

Has God ever challenged you to do something uncomfortable that didn’t seem to make sense to you? When Carolyn and I left the church we loved in Michigan, we didn’t understand what God had in store for us in California. Our church was doing well, and to be honest, we were quite comfortable. One lesson we learned is that God didn’t call us to be comfortable, he calls us to be obedient.

Some of you are like me and want to know all the particulars before you make a serious move. But God makes it very clear in Proverbs 3:5 that we must, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

If you really want to experience God doing the unexplainable in your life or your church, let me suggest that you trust him wholly, especially when you don’t understand the details of his plan for you.

Carolyn and I are now able to understand better why God called us to Fallbrook. She continues to be the director of the Hope Clinic for Women. I’m enjoying pastoring LifePointe Church, and we both absolutely love the people of Fallbrook.


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 06/16/2024 11:19