A Debt of Gratitude in the Light of God’s Grace

When something or someone dear and precious is taken from us, especially with regard to a significant and abiding relationship, a deep and profound sense of loss can be experienced that influences and affects the lens through which we see, perceive or comprehend our current circumstances. We cannot help but to not have any situation we might encounter from that point on become somehow understood in the wake of such an event as seminal as that in our life’s journey.

Even, and maybe especially, events leading up to and prior to our experience of loss can be seen in a new light. It is as if blinders that we had not been aware of previously had been suddenly removed and the scales from one’s eyes taken away. Not unlike Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, a “Come to Jesus” moment ensues upon us and we hear the Lord speaking to our heart and soul with renewed clarity and strength of conviction.

An opportunity for reflection and introspection occurs to us and, if welcomingly received, submitted and surrendered to, and taken advantage of by being given ample time to process through, can allow us to listen well to the voice of the spirit within us. Our interactions, focus and perspectives are then exposed to new light shed upon us in the Lord under the severe mercy and greater grace of a sovereign God.

Such has been my own experience over the past year. There has been at once a deeply profound remorse and regret at my own failings before the Lord and others such that at times in the recent past, I could not bear the weight of guilt, grief, shame, brokenness and sadness apart from sensing, knowing and experiencing the love, prayers, encouragement and support of many upholding us in the Spirit.

It is a terrible thing to face the Lord Who truly sees us and meets us in the presence of one another, speaking the truth in love, presenting an opportunity to fess up, be real, and come clean over and over again, and as the apostle Paul reminds us, to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” It can be, as one of my late, well-loved and much appreciated seminary professors might say, “a deeply humbling, transforming moment.”

All this is to share a perspective with you that from this moment on, I am pursuing the Lord and seeking to serve God’s people in this time and place with a passion and purpose that I am not sure I have ever experienced before. If the enemy of our souls had thought that by taking away my most precious beloved we would be deterred from rising above our situation and beholding the Lord sustaining and lifting us up further for God’s glory, he’s got another thing coming. Out of these ashes, beauty will indeed most assuredly arise! Watch out as the Lion of Judah moves us with a fresh fire in the fervor of the Spirit of the Lord. As it says in the Scriptures, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall accomplish this!

Thank you to all of you who are embarking on the journey together with one another anew as evidenced by many who attended this past Rally Day Sunday’s activities. It is with a deep sense of gratitude and awe that I pledge to serve alongside with you as the Lord equips us to serve one another in love. May the joy of the Lord be our strength as we seek in partnership to rebuild our community through Christ, renew our fellowship in the Spirit, and transform people by God’s grace. To this end, I remain and continue

Prayerfully yours, and His

Pastor Rex

~ by prayersForMelissa on September 16, 2010.

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