As the vast majority of you know, I pastored a local church for 25 years before the Lord called me to step aside and (by faith, in obedience to His leading) pass the proverbial “mantel” to another man; a younger man with vision, passion and a clear & apparent call from God upon his life. The elders in our fellowship recognized that calling and appointed my son, Tommy, to succeed me. And so began a “season of transition” at Harvest Christian Fellowship, Reston. And now, just 2.5 years later, that man (Tommy, along with his wife & children) is being led by the Holy Spirit to step out in faith into a new venture of ministry to the poor in the inner-city of Washington, DC. This means another season of transition for the people (I love) who call HCF, Reston their church home. It means that Tommy will pass the “pastoral reins” on to a successor whom the Lord is yet to identify – but one whom the congregation and leadership is fervently & faithfully praying for.
I realize that all of this was quite surprising news to the folks & families at HCF. It was surprising to me. However, it was not-at-all surprising to the Lord, our great God! He knew this day was coming and He knows ‘the who’, ‘the when’ and ‘the how’ of things going forward. As you might imagine, I have been praying ‘without ceasing’ in regard to all of this for weeks now… and today in my devotional reading the Lord met me in a wonderful & encouraging way – through the pen of someone who has gone before me in ministry; someone whom the Lord has used to instruct, to encourage and to bless my Christian life for the past 35 years. Read on (especially you dear saints at HCF, Reston). Perhaps the Lord will meet you and encourage you as He did me ~
“We are not responsible for finishing everything we begin. It may be our part only to begin it; the carrying on and finishing of it may be the work of others. They may be those we know or do not know and perhaps others not yet born. We all enter into the work of those who have gone before us, and others who will come after us in turn enter into our work. Our duty, very simply, is to work faithfully and do our own little part well. Why fret over what we cannot do when that which we can do will occupy all our time? What we cannot do is not our responsibility. It belongs to some other worker, waiting even now, perhaps, in some obscure place, who at the right moment will come forth with new zeal and dedicated skill, anointed for his task.” (J.R. Miller, circa 1880)
The Lord gave me a “word” a few days ago that He reminded me of just now. I share it will all of you here ~ “Take heart! We serve the God of the impossible, the improbable, the unbelievable; He that is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above & beyond anything we can ask or imagine.”