Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Sign of Enoch

Several weeks ago, our pastor resigned. Since then, we have had substitute preachers who have done a fine job. The only problem was that they were temporary. Being a woman of a certain age, I've come to appreciate the blessing of a pastor, and I've missed not having one. Not only have my previous pastors given me wonderful insights into difficult Scripture passages and proofed articles for me, but they have also walked with me through the most difficult valleys of my life. Somehow, at the very hardest moments, they have shown up in person without being called, and they have been "Jesus with skin on" for me. The subject of an interim pastor, as you might have expected, has recently been a consistent topic for prayer. I haven't known quite what to request, so I've asked for the one who is right, the interim we need. 

Slipping into the service just as it was starting this morning, I ended up in the very back. The music was just wonderful and the spirit was incredibly sweet. When the guest preacher got up to speak, he began to say things that sounded as if he planned to be with us for a while. Turning to the friend sitting next to me, I whispered, "Is he our new interim?" She shook her head, and whispered back, "I have no idea, but it sounds like it, doesn't it?" We settled in to see what he had to say. 

When he began to talk about walking, it wasn't clear what his topic would be. It was a great introduction for my very favorite Bible story (other than Jesus, of course ), but no one ever preaches about Enoch. Much to my surprise, he began to read from Genesis 5. He was preaching about Enoch. About the time he read verse 24, where Enoch was walking with God and was taken up to heaven, I whispered a little thank you prayer. That Still Small Voice spoke in my heart, "You're welcome. I thought you'd like it." I did. 

It turns out he is our new interim pastor, and the sign of Enoch has confirmed for me that he is exactly what we need. I can't wait to see what God does in our church through the ministry of this Enoch-loving man of God. 

The best part, of course, is not that he preached about Enoch. The best part is that he is clearly God's plan for us, and being in the midst of God's will is sure to bring the best of blessings. That is exactly what God's will always brings, and it's a wonder why we so often fight against it and beg for what we want instead.  

God's will. It's a wonderfully surprising, outrageously adventurous place to be, and tonight I'm giving thanks that my sweet church has landed right in the middle of His plan. May all our lives be as perfectly positioned! 

"I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." (Jeremiah 29: 11 MSG)