As I consider the anguish, the frustration, anger, disillusionment, even the despair the Haggards and close friends are contending with at this time my heart breaks with them, though I’ve never met them.
Tonight I’m especially thinking of the one whose choices brought it on – the one learning to live with but two titles: husband and father. The days ahead are going to be difficult beyond description. The enemy is going to resort to cheap-shot temptations to undo the repentance we read in his letter to his congregation before the ink dries completely and resolve solidifies. Waves of unworthiness, shame and inadequacy may bring him closer to yet another edge – that of truncating his life along with his public ministry. The enemy knows it would be the ultimate defeat – there’s no restoration in that. His sinister delight would be in such – I pray God’s protection on his life.
Finances are going to enter the picture now. The regular, predictable income replaced with looking for work. Dismissals of this sort don’t come with severance packages that make life easy. He may hear himself soon pray “Anything you make available, Lord, anything. Just care for my family. Please.”
There will be awkward silences to endure in counseling and other conversations while he decides yet again how honest he needs to be. “Completely” will come to mind and he will hopefully take a breath and answer truthfully, even if the truth brings tears he wished were not of his doing.
It’s a long list – or could be – all part of what God does with some of us in life. This is what the Lord said in Jeremiah 18.
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying, 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
Remaking is painful, especially at first. When a man enjoys what God WAS doing in his life, at least publicly, to be broken down completely and re-crafted is one of the most humiliating things a leader will encounter. But the word “another” does mean another of a different kind. The re-made servant has to accept not only that he is being made over by Almighty God, but also that the most enjoyable things about life and ministry as they were – may truly be a thing of the past. Yieldedness to His sovereignty is easy to describe – much more difficult to live out, but essential.
And there will be moments, perhaps more than a few, when the re-molded servant must be content to say “I’m just thankful He decided to re-make me. He didn’t have to, but Grace brought a new form to mind. I will yield to His touch more fully this time.”
The Lord doesn’t limit His re-making just to leaders, though. He lovingly applies this approach as needed, with any and all of those truly His own. Are you in similar straits? At the end? Broken beyond description? Come to the Savior. You’ll not find stronger, holier, more skillful hands anywhere in the world, past, present or future. Come to Him now.