We don’t always get what we want; what we do get is the wisdom and ability to cope with what God wants. Often we see much later that what we did get is a takeoff point for something we hadn’t expected. I have learned much from praying with Pastor Paul over the years in a variety of situations, and it is exciting to see him in a position to share his vision of growing in the knowledge and service of God with a worldwide audience.
The other side of what we as a church family are experiencing is the generational change—not only with Pastor Chris, but a younger congregation as well. God created mankind as a succession of generations; I remember grandparents, parents, kids, and grandkids of my own. Pastor Chris is the same age as my younger son; I helped shepherd the youth group with they were teenagers. Now we see Chris growing into his dad’s shoes; my son is becoming a father for the first time this spring, and bringing back memories of his own father as he looks forward.
Scripture gives us many examples of God’s plans for the next generation; He knows us before we’re born, and calls each of us to a unique life, and offers each of us the opportunity to live it with His grace. We don’t do it perfectly; we learn more this way. Reading the stories of many people who have had amazing lives with God, we often find what church tradition calls “the dark night of the soul”, when the challenge is to trust God even when we don’t have the light we yearn for. Can we remember that He is always with us, even when we wonder where He is, and what on earth is happening? We know that He is not through with Calvary/NorthPoint, and we look forward to each new day bringing new blessings and challenges.