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, â€œReadÂ 2 Corinthians 4:1Â in the Greek, and what youâ€™ll notice is this: â€˜Therefore, having this ministry [and then he translated it this way], just as we received mercy.â€™â€ â€œHaving this ministry, just as we received mercy, we do not lose heart.â€
(Yep – it reads literally: Î”Î¹á½° Ï„Î¿á¿¦Ï„Î¿ á¼”Ï‡Î¿Î½Ï„ÎµÏ‚ Ï„á½´Î½ Î´Î¹Î±ÎºÎ¿Î½Î¯Î±Î½ Ï„Î±ÏÏ„Î·Î½ ÎºÎ±Î¸á½¼Ï‚ á¼ Î»ÎµÎ®Î¸Î·Î¼ÎµÎ½, Î¿á½Îº á¼Î³ÎºÎ±ÎºÎ¿á¿¦Î¼ÎµÎ½. The NET translates it this way, though they change the divine passive in “we have received mercy”)
And he said in the letter, â€œâ€˜Just as we received mercyâ€™ means that just as God was merciful, John, to save you and keep you, so he will mercifully give you a ministry.â€ 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.