This morning in chapel President Jeffery shared with us from Genesis 22. We looked at the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son - a story we've (I've) heard a zillion times. He began and ended his lesson with the quote "worship involves sacrifice".... sacrifice? Now, I'm not living in a third world country. I don't have to choose between food and safety. I worship freely any way I choose. So, for him to say that "worship involves sacrifice" - made sense for Abraham's day...and wouldn't you know it...clicked in my heart and mind this morning.
"God will bring us to a point where our most loved and most valuable will need to be placed on the altar". I'm sure I messed up that quote - but that's another piece of wisdom I heard in chapel today. The idea to follow was that... well, to be honest I was too blinded by my hurt this morning to hear much else. I felt numb as the other people around me sang and agreed with their grunts during PJ's message. But what the Lord wanted me to hear is that my worship, Brad's worship... involves sacrifice. And while I don't have all of that put together yet - it's getting there.
Last week was a very hard week for Brad and I. In the matter of 24 hours our future changed not once, but twice. On Wednesday Bradley was offered a pastoral position at a church in Ohio that we had started to fall head over heels in love with... We were so excited! God had opened a door and looked like he was clearly leading. We asked for a day to pray about it, but were so thrilled to give the big YES and move on with life. Could it really be this easy? I couldn't help but wonder. God had been so good to us! We found a place that would honor Brad's contract, had a preschool and was only 40 minutes from my family!!! I felt like there was nothing better.
Then Thursday came. Thursday evening the pastor called to withdrawal his offer from Brad. We sat in a bedroom completely blindsided by this decision. We had done no wrong. We had prayed, we had sought wisdom... before the call we were sharing our vision with dear friends - telling them our exciting news! And while I can't yet say anything postive about this man who has hurt my husband so deeply - I do know in the back of my mind that GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS PLAN. He has to be... that's the only sense of this past horrible year and all of the hardships we have gone through. We'll never know what caused this man to sit at home by himself, crying, and call my husband to take back his offer only a few days later - but we did learn a few things.
-we choose to take this before the Lord, and asked for days to pray together before we said a sure OK.
-we choose to seek wise counsel from family, friends and those in the ministry leading us now.
-we depend on the Lord's strength.
All that to say - we have to TRUST that God knows. He knows we did everything right. We have to trust that he is saving us from something we would all too soon regret being apart of. But all of this "knowledge" doesn't change a human wife's pain for her spouse. As I sat and watched my husband 'take' this bad news - my stomach hurt. He was being tormented inside... he was frustrated, angry and felt horrible. Still today...days later, he's still questioning "did I do something wrong?", "was it wrong for me to ask questions?", "was it wrong for me to want a day to pray about the most important decision of my life?". And the answer is an obvious NO.
Almighty God - what have you saved us from that we don't understand or see?
How in your grace and mercy did you choose to scoop us up out of a situation that was lying before us? What is your plan? Why for over a year now does our worship involve so much sacrifice? What do you have for us? We have to trust that its BIG! We have to believe that you are working out your plan in our lives... "Hosanna, Hosanna, Hossana in the highest".
Now today, I'll go home and wear my heart on my sleeve for my husband. He's been wounded in this battle... how do I help him mend? How do I encourage? How do I help the healing? How do I convince my godly husband that he is in the palm of your hand and this is all part of your master plan?