“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth!” Psalm 46:10
I have been truly blessed to have a father that I respect and love deeply. He is probably one of the smartest men I have known and has given me great advice over the years. He has always been there through my failures and successes. I have turned to him often for counsel in times of trial. He would often say, “You know what I do when it rains? I let it.”
This seems like a rather obvious statement since we have no control over the weather or our trials that we often find ourselves in. However, as I have reflected on this, it is bigger than it appears. My father is a self-proclaimed agnostic who was raised in the church and went to Moody Bible College after high school. He excelled in sports playing college football against Forrest Gregg (for you Packer fans), he wrote a book on statistics titled “Difficult Concepts, Understandable Explanations” published in 1984 and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine on the Effects of Human Growth Hormone in Men over 60 years of age.
I point this all out not to brag on my father’s accomplishments but to point out the fact that as an agnostic statistician he understands that there is order in the world and that it’s only explanation is in a Creator. He understands that everything around us could not happen by chance or randomness. It’s statistically impossible. Despite his acceptance of a Creator he and I continue to debate the things of God. I believe his intelligence is a roadblock to his faith. You can’t explain God in human terms and never will! There are things we will never understand on this side of heaven which I am willing to accept but he isn’t. He continues to search for “Understandable Explanations” but only finds “Difficult concepts”.
Like my dad, I am willing to relinquish all control in times of trials. I am willing to let it rain when it rains but there is a huge difference. One must ask, “why the rain?” I know that God brings the rain or trials which ultimately leads to His exaltation or His glory as noted in Psalms 46:10. This alone answers the difficult questions often posed like “If there is a god, why do bad things happen to good people?” or “why would God allow Job to suffer? The answer is for God to be exalted! That’s good enough for me but for my dad and the world, they are still left wondering why the rain or suffering?
New Life itself is about to go through a small cloud burst with Pastor Chandler’s departure. We are going to miss him and the Wiley family deeply. Should we sound the alarm, be in a state of angst or worry? Who will take his place? Psalms tells us to “Be still, and know that I am God.” We are told to take a breath, rest, and contemplate what God has done and is doing. We are to know that God is in control. New Life has been blessed by excellent pastors currently and in the past and will continue to be in the future as long as we remain focused on Jesus alone. Chandler has done a remarkable job but God already has his replacement in line. Although we’re sad to lose Chandler, the elder board looks to the future with faith-filled expectation to see what God has in plan for us as we begin the search process. We know in the end God will be exalted through it all.
I personally want to thank you Chandler and Kimmi for your faithfulness, hard work and commitment to New Life. You are true friends, and Cory and I have personally been blessed with your friendship. We wish you the best as you move on to the next season of your lives. It’s going to be exciting to see how God uses you.
We love you and will be in prayer for you and for the person who’ll be filling the void left behind by your departure.
In Christ, Greg