Much of 2020 for us so far has been waiting for God to show us what’s next. Some days have been hard. On one of those days, a good friend sent a timely and encouraging article, where John Piper describes his transition experience:
“I was 28 years old.
I was jobless. I was eager for ministry and had no place calling me.
I was in Germany at the time, so it was hard to make contact with people back in America, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
I had a wife and a child to support, and there were no doors opening. What am I going to do?”
And [a friend] wrote to me and he said, “Read 2 Corinthians 4:1 in the Greek, and what you’ll notice is this: ‘Therefore, having this ministry [and then he translated it this way], just as we received mercy.’” “Having this ministry, just as we received mercy, we do not lose heart.”
(Yep – it reads literally: Διὰ τοῦτο, ἔχοντες τὴν διακονίαν ταύτην καθὼς ἠλεήθημεν, οὐκ ἐγκακοῦμεν. The NET translates it this way, though they change the divine passive in “we have received mercy”)
And he said in the letter, “‘Just as we received mercy’ means that just as God was merciful, John, to save you and keep you, so he will mercifully give you a ministry.” And I was so helped by that in my faith. Yes, amen! If your heart is all-in to fill your days with good works as God has given you gifts and health, God will not leave you without a significant work to do. He does not waste his children.
Amen! I was so helped by this article too.
The whole article is great — not just for retiring pastors, but for friends who’ve just been made redundant in ministry, and fellow graduates whose plans are likewise all on hold or reshuffled post-COVID.