As I was writing about being thankful in all circumstances yesterday, I thought of a situation in our own life where we weren’t very thankful – at first.
One evening Ken received a phone call from a man who said their church was looking for a pastor and would Ken be interested. He went on to say that Ken had been highly recommended and that there was already a good feeling that he would be the next person to fill their pulpit. Some members of the church had met Ken somewhere and heard him speak and were sure he was the right choice.
The man went on to say that when the last pastor left, they had offered the church to a young man who had grown up in the congregation and then left for Bible college and seminary. Everyone felt that since he was “one of their own” he should have the opportunity to come back to the church and pastor. But the young man had decided to pursue another option.
Ken was their next choice. This man was sure of it.
Let’s just say that we were excited. We knew of the church and from our point of view, it was the exact right fit. Not only did we agree doctrinally, but it was in a town that had a lot of growth potential – and the location would be just right for our family.
The calls went back and forth, including conference calls with the board members.
Although Ken and I had been through the town many times, we took off early one morning and drove the couple hundred miles and checked out the area in more detail.
Everything looked good.
The church asked for cassettes of Ken’s messages so the people would have a chance to hear him. The call came back that everything was good.
A date was made for us to come candidate.
And then we received another call. The man who had grown up in the church decided he wanted the church after all. The board members wanted Ken, but the man’s family had a lot of influence and reminded them that they had offered it to their son.
And that was the end of that.
No, we were not in a very thankful frame of mind at first (but we got over it.)
But a year later, when looking at how our life had changed and where we did end up, we could see that that would’ve been the absolutely, wrong choice for us. Even the personal part of it, the part that liked the location, was no longer viable. Our family was no longer nearby.
We often thought of how thankful we were that we DIDN’T get the church when we looked back at it and it helped us accept some other circumstances that didn’t seem right at the time. Better to ask for God’s will, to accept His sovereignty and allow Him to be in control.