I would never exchange the successful career I dreamed of for the adventure I am having.

6 03 2016

In college I faced a Gethsemane crisis of my will to be a prosperous architect with God’s will that I fully embrace the Lordship of Christ over my life and career. Through months of struggle, I yielded to God and sacrificed my ambitions – my personal Golgotha (or one of them at least). As I recounted previously, I changed my career path and attended seminary, along with my new wife. My experience during those years was spiritually dry as the Bible became, for me (not by my professor’s intentions) a text book more than a life source. I had the opportunity to abide deeply in Christ, but in all honestly, I failed to dwell contentedly with the Lord during those years.

So how has the risen Christ been manifested in my life as an outflow of my surrender and sacrifice? In a phrase, I have never been the same. I have become someone very unlike the successful professional I had planned to be. My values have little to do with visible success or material possessions. I have had the privilege of serving as a pastor to hundreds of dear people. I have conveyed to them the love of their Savior, and have received love from dozens of families in return.

Not only that, I have, along with my wife and two daughters, been privileged to live and minister overseas in Africa for a decade. That has been a defining experience for each one of us. We have been loved and esteemed by Africans far beyond what we earned. Only eternity will reveal the lives we have been privileged to touch.

But even more deeply, we have been transformed by the living power of Christ in us. We are living for a higher purpose, and experience regularly the fulfillment of staying surrendered to the will of God, staying sacrificial at the foot of the cross, and abiding intimately in Jesus. I can honestly say that because of this major gospel cycle lasting over 40 years, God has graciously put Jesus on display in our family. We have had many difficulties and made many mistakes. We have been fearful and sometimes doubting. We have often been confused and weak. But all these experiences have been indispensable to our following Jesus at each of the points along the way.

How has Jesus manifested Himself in you through a difficult experience?

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