My friend Nick has been asked to become the Eastern Baptist Association’s third Regional Minister. I am so happy because Nick will be great in this role but I am also sad because he will move away from Colchester.
Nick, Rob, Steve and I are all local Baptist ministers and we meet up to talk and pray together so that we can support and encourage each other. The four churches we lead are all slightly different and our service styles vary but we listen to and relate to each other well. They are all a great encouragement to me.
I am encouraged that Nick can be a blessing to other ministers, but I would prefer him to stay here. I am both happy and sad at the same time. I suppose that life is often like this as we wrestle with different feelings and preferences but the reality is that things change and we need to think about how we cope with change and then how we get on with life.
Today, something happened that really upset me. I can’t go into details because it involves someone else and issues that are personal to them. As I encountered their pain today it left me feeling so sad for them and also quite angry about the circumstances that have caused them to feel the way they do. I would much rather Nick stayed in Colchester but I’m actually not really, really upset he is going and I won’t shed a tear when he moves (sorry Nick). It is good to reflect on life and how we react to things. How do we react when things don’t go out preferred way? Do we melt down when inconveniences crop up or do we only react strongly when things really go really wrong? What is it that gives us security and stability in life? How can we find the strength to shrug off minor inconveniences?
I am grateful for good friends who support me, but what holds me up and keeps me going is God. Jesus is with us always and we need to talk with him more pouring out our hearts to him. Even in the situation that is making me so sad at the moment there are such signs of encouragement. Things are much better than they might be and for that I thank God and I pray that he would be at work in this situation bringing hope and change. God says:
Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. (Isaiah 41.10)
If you are interested, you can read more about Nick’s new role in his blog.