One of the things that I’m noticing in my own life and in conversations with other church planters and leaders, is that we often go through some seriously difficult times when God cuts us down to our knees. Jacob was crippled by the angel, Paul had a thorn in his flesh, I wonder if those were similar experiences.
It seems that God chooses really gifted guys, that have the ability to go a long way on their own strength, and puts the smackdown on them in order to drive them to their knees and rely on Him rather than their own abilities. The more I share my story with other church planters and leaders, the more I discover that they have similar experiences.
This is actually encouraging to me. I’m encouraged that God, in his sovereignty, is bringing me through the process of beating me into shape in the same manner that a drill sergeant has to break new recruits in order for them to be good soldiers. Often, it is the soldiers who accomplish the most that require the harshest treatment.
The idea gives hope because this isn’t in vain. This season and pain and hurt and chaos that we’ve experienced for the past year are all part of sanctification – they are all part of God’s plan to cultivate me, shape me, and mold me into his image and not my own.
That’s a black eye that I’m actually excited to receive.