Don’s first Sunday as a new pastor, was also the first day after our first child (Dan) was born! Change doesn’t adequately describe what was happening to us!
While our pastor was passing the baton to Don, I was in the hospital getting to know our little b0y and learning to care for his needs. As Daniel nestled in my arms, I should have been feeling contented. Instead a sense of apprehension seemed to be hanging over me. The doubts weren’t about raising our baby. They were concerns about the new responsibility and the challenges we would be facing. On one hand I felt honored the pastor and congregation believed in my husband and me, and on the other hand this assignment felt like a heavy weight I wasn’t quite prepared for at this point in time.
It was incredulous that our first steps into parenting were occurring at the same moment we were to start taking care of His flock! Only God could have designed such timing. It took many years of reflecting on this before I finally realized what (I’m sure) God would have loved for me to have seen at the time…
These two colliding experiences were really one lesson!
We became parents the day our baby was born, but the work of parenting our little boy would require getting to know who he was, what temperament, talents, gifts and personality God had given him and what God’s purpose and plans were for his life. With these things in mind God could then help us mold and shape him, and help move him towards the plan and purpose God had for his life.
Pastoring the people of God needed to look the same! We were to mirror these parenting aspects — Know our flock, understand them, love them, serve them and then help them step into the plans and purposes God had for them!
Funny how truth and time can make cloudy things clear!
“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” I Thess. 2:7-8 NIV
11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. I Thess. 2:10-12 NIV