I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help [hold] thee.
One day after Hurricane Edna struck western Massachusetts in 1954, my father took me to the Ludlow Bridge which spanned the Chicopee river between Ludlow and Indian Orchard at what was once known as Wallamanumps Falls. We walked onto the bridge and watched the raging water only a few feet below the bridge, splashing against the upstream side. Residents knew that with the dam opened that tumultuous white water was over 50 feet deep. If anyone fell in, they would never survive. I couldn’t see the water because I was only 4 years old and not big enough to look over the concrete siding. So my dad picked me up and sat me on that railing with my feet dangling over the edge. Others around him panicked. At first I was terrified, but my dad held me with a firm grip and told me that I would be OK because he was holding me and would never let me go.
At my advanced age, I still have that mental picture of the raging waters of the Chicopee river directly beneath my feet, and of my father’s strong hands. I can’t help but think that the act of my foster father helping me to see the power of a storm-stirred river developed a deep trust, in my young heart, that my “Dad” was able to hold me and keep me safe. How much stronger and greater the hold of our eternal Father’s hands? He has held me for 42 years now, and has not let go once!
Don’t try to hold God’s hand; let Him hold yours. Let Him do the holding, and you do the trusting.
See Also: Isa. 41:10
Trust me, if you wait too long to start your sabbatical, then you may just hear one (or more) of these twenty ways of saying a churchy goodbye. Instead, why not be proactive and read A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors: How to Initiate and Navigate a Spiritual Renewal Leave.
YouTube video by Johnbcrist.
From my book, We’re the ‘sons of God’: So What?
“Disciples of Jesus Christ have had a profound life-altering experience. They have encountered a supernatural personality, revealed in history as Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah. And they have discovered the meaning and purpose of their lives in the subsequent revelation of his continuing presence to them. The experience demands a faithful, reliable witness.
What would public opinion say of a person who discovered the absolute cure for AIDS, but was unwilling to share that cure with a world that so desperately needs it? What if the antidote were kept hidden and made use of by only the discoverer and his family? We would consider it an moral outrage and he or she would be infamous. Why? We expect the cure to be shared, not only shared, but made available to all as soon as possible!”
This book was written to the churches to give church families insight into the role and needs of the pastors and their families. Buy it. Read it. Then communicate your care and love for the pastor God has given you.
Please share this with someone you know who also appreciates the gift of a caring pastor and his/her family. I hope it helps you find ways to return the love.