What now? The Sunday morning we decided to attend another church near us although we were still completely broken. I could not lift up my hands to praise as I experienced anger towards God! I was disappointed in God! How could He have allowed this to happen to us? For WHAT reason?
I even went through the motions of trying to reason with God, that if He do not turn this thing around, then I am done with Him and the ministry! Can you believe that? I think there are more people out there who perhaps are feeling the exact way right now, or who have also been there at such a place and time in there lives. (Later on I found out – you know, learned the lessons, got the T-shirt and scars, etc.), that God is not moved by my pity parties, or by my threats or reasoning. The thing is, once you have been called by God for ministry, there is no turn around areas in the road. You can only go forward and there is nothing else that you can do – because you will be worthless in the secular world. Your degrees and experience will not count and in any case, they were just part of the bigger picture/plan that God intended for you so that you can use it in the ministry. They know it, you know it and God also knows it. Usually the thought of leaving the ministry lasts for about 30 seconds, then you start planning a next event or crusade again, wherein we can exalt and magnify His Name!
The Senior Pastor made the altar call even before the sermon and we went to the front. All the other pastors started to pray for everyone around us and sort of “ignored” us, or did not see us. I thought, maybe the Lord will use the senior pastor then to pray for us and give us a prophetic word from the Lord? Maybe our ears are too hard of hearing His voice these days?
Low and behold, the senior pastor stepped down from the pulpit – and passed right by us and prayed for someone at the back. I was stunned once again – does the Lord even see our pain and tears at this moment? Another complete rejection! Has He already forsaken us although He provided me with a personal promise way back in 1990 after my first retrenchment that “He will never let go of my hand and will not forsake me!”? Is He then still a God who delivers on His promises at all?
Eventually, another pastor came to pray for us and he first asked if there was something specific, when my wife was quick on the draw and said he can pray “as the Lord leads him to”. Sad to say this pastor started to pray for our marriage, then for our children, then for our finances and I think he also included our health somewhere in the prayer. But I have lost him when I felt that he did not have a clue what to pray for. This left me with a sickening feeling of what actually is happening in churches today? Are the pastors really filled with the Spirit of God to discern the real pain of people coming to the church or not? Will a generalist type of prayer suffice for the church of today, or do we need a straight from the heart to another heart prayer, that is filled with all the detail of the pain and healing as directed by the Spirit of God? I mean to say, the purpose of the Spirit of God for the church is not only to speak in tongues, but rather to be guided and to be led by the Spirit to bring healing and make a difference in someone’s life. There are too many people still IN Churches who are broken and shattered through the trails and tribulations they went through life – even from childhood days. Pain which are not addressed by the Word of God or generalist type of prayers.
As we went back to our seats, we were still as empty and broken as by the time we went out for prayer. BUT the Lord always has something else up on His sleeve and another sister came to pray for my wife. This sister was a couple of years back in our little congregation in Danville, Pretoria and we led her to the Lord, baptized her and also spend a lot of time with her in counselling due to a failed marriage. Now it was her portion to give back and provide comforting to my wife when she desperately needed it. Through this, the Lord showed us that we have sown good seeds along the way and the Lord did not forget it! It brought some comforting.
The lesson to be learned is this: Even when you go through terrible times and trails and tribulations that seems unbearable, keep your trust in God and keep on sowing the good seeds through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There will be a time when the seeds will start to grow and provide a harvest of love, thanksgiving and even generosity. It will surely come in a time when you need it the most, because God DO KNOW what we are going through, each day of our lives .
Please follow the next delivery of this important message and lessons to be learned from how to deal with disappointment.