It was in the midst of premarital counseling with my pastor here at Fellowship Church (Andy Eiss) many years ago where we created a great friendship. It stemmed from our common love of the Red Sox and the Cowboys at the time. (As a current die hard Patriot fan, Andy may never confess to the previous Dallas Cowboy bandwagon riding but I remember it all too well)
The closer I got to Andy the more he challenged me....as a friend and as my pastor. There were times it would stress me out when he asked me to get involved in something. I would go home and figure out a way that I can decline the offer in the best way. But as I look back now I am forever thankful. I see today that God intentionally put him (Andy) in my life to make me more valuable and available to Him (God). It was in these many moments of uncomfortableness that I grew more closer to God than ever before. "Hey Rich, what do you think about leading a Growth Group?" or "How about I have you speak in front of all these people on a Sunday?" Are you kidding me? Do you know who I am? Lead? Speak? I don't know about that. Back then (and even today) I felt like Moses in Exodus 4:10-11 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?
We are all created in the image of God. We are children of the living God. We have divine potential. The world will tell us we can't or we shouldn't but God will tell us we can and we should.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Today, following what Pastor Andy did for me, I do for others. I am trying to constantly challenge others and put them in uncomfortable areas where I think they'd shine. And I know some of them would wish that I'd leave them alone. I'm sure some of them see a text or phone call from me and wonder, "Oh great! Now what does he want from me?" I would answer I just want the best for you which, in turn, will be the best for those around them as well.
God has got huge things for you and I. What's getting in the way of being a bit uncomfortable and coming out of it better than ever before?
Look for my phone call.....I'll be in touch soon