My husband has often lamented that he is no longer a full time pastor. He hates the fact that he has a clock in, clock out, forty hours a week job at Wal-Mart. This isn’t to say that Wal-Mart is a horrid place to work, more that he spent so many years prepping to be a pastor, and though he has all the training, all the experience, all the readiness to serve full time, God placed him in a congregation that couldn’t pay him enough to live on and he had to maintain his second job. But Wal-Mart isn’t where his heart is. His heart is with the people of his church. He wants to be there for their hurts, their challenges, their victories, and their lives. It’s hard for him to wake up and not put a clerical on, but what he calls the “Wal-Martian” suit and head off to a place that holds so much of his time, much more than he would ever prefer. If he gets a phone call that someone is sick, he has to wait until he has time to go there instead of rushing to be at the side of the infirm. How frustrating!
Then, I think, God doesn’t make mistakes. God doesn’t just accidentally “stick” someone in a part time call. God doesn’t just put someone in a church because there wasn’t another place to put them. God has a plan, an intricate design, a place for everyone. It’s hard to think that while my husband was going through his hardships in Kansas that God was prepping him for where he is at now, but He was. The time my husband spent in Minnesota with his congregations there prepared him for what he is doing now. He may not feel prepared and he may feel like his time is wasted at Wal-Mart, but that’s not how God sees it. God sees His own beloved child working to better the lives of the neighbors around my husband in at least two vocations he calls jobs. God provides when we need to do what seems impossible.
There isn’t a more loving congregation out there than the one my husband serves now. Understanding, patient, loving, they have never caused any rumblings of trouble because my husband can’t be there full time. They accept him for who he is and where he is and never make any complaints that he isn’t around more. Much the opposite, they respect it and work around it so that all can be done to God’s glory. It may be a frustrating situation for all, but Christian love abounds as there is no blame, no resentment, only understanding and patience on all sides. Perhaps it could be that God gave my husband a place to heal after what he endured in Kansas? I’d like to think so. Even the most frustrating situations can be gifts from God even if we don’t always see it.
This isn’t to say that we don’t work to better ourselves and our situation because it is important to have that drive. However, it’s good to know that we will be provided for by a loving God who sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins so that we could be in heaven with Him. He provides eternally and temporally all that we need to support this body and life. In that perspective, my husband isn’t in some “holding pattern” until he gets back into the full time ministry, he is right where God wants him to be. That assurance, through faith, makes it so that my husband not only can perform at both jobs, frankly, he rocks it!