Today we wake up with a new partner in ministry….welcome Pastor Eric. I feel very grateful for many things as I look back over the past 11 months during which Matt and I were entrusted with the full pastoral load for the congregation. I appreciate the patience and encouragement from you all as you embraced our leadership in places where we had not led before. Several of you assured me regularly of your continual prayers on my behalf, something I think is far more powerful than we can see or fathom. Many of you stepped forward to accept additional responsibilities within your own ministry areas in order to relieve some of the pressure on us. Over all of that we are reminded of the blessings of God’s work among us and through us when we submit ourselves to His plan and faithfully seek His way as we acknowledge his greatness and power.
Part of my chronological reading of scripture today is from Daniel 4. Here we are reminded that God is in control everywhere and manages the world beyond those who acknowledge Him as the one true God. In this chapter Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was thinking quite highly of himself and the great job he was doing and had done to build this great empire of Babylon. God judges him harshly, causing him to become like an animal for 7 years. He literally humbles Nebuchadnezzar to the lowest of low to teach him that whether he gives God credit or not, God IS in control of whether he is king or not. This is a reminder for me on a couple levels. My personal recognition of God’s greatness and my inadequacy needs daily renewal. Without HIM I am nothing. Additionally, in an election year we spend a lot of time thinking about who will lead us. Do I always see our national leaders as placed there by God for a purpose of His own? As we read about Daniel, this attitude was part of what made him a man who God could use.