early morning wake me up

on saturday night, about ten minutes before church started, i was caught off guard by a very welcome surprise. as i was standing in our worship center talking with some friends, i saw a couple walk in that i hadn’t seen in a couple of months and absolutely didn’t expect to see on that night.

a few months ago, this couple felt that it was time for them to leave our church. there was no animosity or hurt involved. they felt that they wanted to be part of a smaller church and a smaller community. that’s a completely normal thing for people to experience as churches grow, especially those that were around when it was smaller. they left for their search on good terms with everyone and, while we would miss them, we wanted them to be in the church that was the right church for them right now. we have a saying around our church that says that god calls specific people to specific places for specific times. if god was calling this couple out of our church, while it negatively impacted us, we were excited for them and wanted the best for them.

after saying hey to both of them and giving them each a big hug, i stood with them and our tech director talking and catching up. we asked them how things were going personally and how the search for a new church home was going. the wife looked at us with a smile on her face and said, “the search is over. we’re back where we’re supposed to be.” we had one of those moments where we looked at each other and her face said, “yep, that means we’re here to stay” before me and the tech director wrapped them both up in a big, four-person bear hug.

we were super excited they had found the church for them.

we were super excited they didn’t have to search anymore.

we were super excited that we get the privilege of having them as part of our church family.

as i thought about this couple and what they did, i realized that they did something that most people never do: they took a chance.

sometimes you have to take a chance. sometimes it feels like god is up to something and you have no choice but to step out and pursue it. that means leaving the comfortable. it means going after the unknown. it means potentially shaking up your entire life and changing things you’ve spent years cultivating.

the hard part is that sometimes we are wrong.

sometimes we pursue what we think god is doing and find out that what was right was right where we were.

i don’t think that god has a problem with us getting it wrong as long as we are pursuing him. i don’t think he thinks less of us when we step out in what we think is faith only to find out that god wasn’t, in fact, leading us that direction. he’s a good dad. he wants us to go where he’s leading us. he also knows that life is confusing and rarely easy. he knows that, for some of us, it takes getting it wrong a few times before we can actually get it right.

the issue isn’t about whether we get it right or wrong. the important thing is that we pursue what it is god is having us pursue. it would be nice if he wrapped it up neatly with a bow and gave us exact details. that’s not how he works though. he invites us to play a part in this epic story and then tells us that our main direction is to follow him. with no definitive road map. our only choice is pursuing the direction he’s taking us.

what’s god stirring inside of you? where do you feel him leading you that makes you nervous? what’s holding you back from taking the first step?

he will lead.

our job is to follow.

all he really wants is for us to pursue him with all we’ve got, even if we get it wrong.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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