In recent days, I have been asked a lot of questions about why I am leaving Southside, and what the future holds. I simply want to say that after much prayer seeking to know God’s will for Southside, and for my life, I sensed that it was time to retire. I heard an old saying, “Preachers don’t retire they just go out to pastor.”
I don’t know what the future holds for Southside or me, but I do know The One, who holds the future. I have been asked a lot of questions about the future. Questions like, will Martha and I continue to worship here when I retire at the end of August? If I continued worshiping at Southside, will I still be willing to serve in some capacity? Still others have asked would I reconsider staying. Others have wanted to know if I would help, and preach their funeral when a new Pastor is called. And the answer to these and so many other questions is I don’t know. But, I believe in my heart that many exciting days are ahead, as we both seek to follow the Lord’s leading.
I would encourage the church not to seek, and use so much logic as you move ahead, but you to wait and trust on God’s timing. So often, the Lord doesn’t show up, and lead in the ways that we expect. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
By all reason and logic, over eleven years ago, as I met with the Pastor Search Committee, I never thought I was going to be the next pastor of Southside. Thinking reasonably and logically, it was not supposed to happen. But as we met together that day, the Lord showed up, and we both left with a clear direction of His plans. In the days ahead, let us search our hearts, confess any wrongs, and seek to follow the leading of the Lord.
The Psalmist says in 143:8 NIV, “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.” The best is yet to come; He is paving the way for the blessings as we entrust our lives to Him, and obey His voice.