When I learned this week the second pastor at my church in six months resigned due to marital infidelity, I was broken, angry and arrogant. I was sad for another devastated family. I was angry because I had to tell my kids…again. I was arrogant not because I had questions, but because I felt I deserved answers.
I went to church the night we received the announcement about our pastor. My friend, who leads our youth, invited me to pray over the student’s Wednesday night service. I wanted to do something. I wanted to go for her, my kids and the other kids who would be there. So I showed up to offer help but instead ended up being the one receiving it.
Although I prayed for my friend’s teaching, the brave team leading worship and the students, I was broken and angry. I had fought back tears all night for our church, pastor’s family and my kids. When a friend who met me to pray was talking about how we all sin, I wasn’t feeling it. I am pretty open about my struggles with profanity, judgement and anger, but multiple affairs from our teaching pastor?
I couldn’t reconcile that.
As I began to pray over the youth service, however, the Spirit began whispering to me. He began meeting me in my hurt, anger and desire for answers. He met me in and despite my brokenness, pain and prideful heart.
The first thing the Lord reminded me that night was God is all the things God is apart from this life. He is active in our lives and teaches and helps us in temptations, but we still have a choice. When I chose to take the Jesus sticker off my car because I drive like an idiot, it did not negate God’s goodness. When my pastor fails, God’s power, love and authority remains perfect and wholly intact.
The second thing I learned is I don’t need answers to my pastor’s problems. Last time I checked, I’m still struggling with being a defensive wife, an angry mother and worse than I care to admit. To the best of my knowledge, I’m still only in charge of me and I have enough issues to worry about to last a lifetime. I also realized that night not only did I not need answers, knowing them would not change anything for me or anyone else.
Lastly, I re-learned not to ask “Why?” but “What Now?” What am I going to do to support my church now? What can I do to serve now? What am I going to pray now? After Peter had denied Christ three times Jesus did not ask Peter why he failed. He told him to feed God’s sheep. He asked essentially, “What now, Peter?”
When we move past why to what now, we move away from paralysis and onto productivity. We move our focus from our own and other people’s brokenness to a burden for others. We move toward a renewed sense of our dependence on God personally and corporately.
#iamthechurch #stillstrong #whatnow