Better Than I Deserve Indeed

You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

It is quite easy to prove that life is hard, difficult, trying, troublesome, unaccommodating, and all the rest, but it must be recognized that this is the way it ought to be. If you did not know what bitter tasted like, you would not know sweet. If we didn’t pass through the fire, we would never be refined. I could, and you could too, roll out the scroll with all the sufferings of life. Physical pain, emotional, mental, and so on. But, hey, I just quoted Psalm 16:11 and this is a different kind of story. The kind of story where the writer looks back over his 29 years and he decides he can say with David, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5).

So, my cup runneth over and I can’t help but express gratitude to the God from whom all blessings flow. So, here goes.

God has always turned evil into good. Circumstances turned bad always have hope on the edges. My life has been filled with good people, particularly good men when I needed them. Here is a brief list: Joey, Nate, Kevin, Paul, Adam, Justin, Bryan, Nathan, Jason, Bob, Richard, Brian, Greg, Justin, Jay, Jayson, Eli, Christopher, Jonathan, Craig, Ben, Mike and Christopher. Let me not forget all the women who have helped teach me what real beauty and service look like. Ladies, you certainly are the golden crown that adorn your husband’s head. The list is actually quite large, but just so we are clear, friends of the highest caliber have been given to my family all across the country.

This weekend, friends and family gathered with me and mine to celebrate my installation at Emmanuel Chapel as their minister, and let’s just say we had a hooting good time. The graciousness, hospitality, generosity, joy, and love abounded from the congregation of Emmanuel Chapel, more than any pastor could ask.

The Lord has brought my family and me far in the last years and the goodness of it all hit hard this past Lord’s Day. To keep it short, God has given us friends and family we don’t deserve in a church that structurally is beautiful and covenantally is a gleaming gem and our quivers abound with children learning to stand in the gate. And if you look close in one of the pictures below, that’s water on my cheeks, not tears…fine, but they are joyful tears.

As David said in Psalm 133,

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there Yahweh has commanded the blessing,
    life forevermore.

 

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