Today's Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (read Scripture )
I entered seminary convinced of my call of God to be a pastor (after all, I made an "A" in my speech class and had the lead in my high school senior play). But through the years, I learned much about waiting upon the Lord (Isaiah 40:31) and the value of perseverance in "growing faith" and "increasing love" (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4).
My first chance at ministry was as a youth minister. "Why this? I am called to be a pastor." Then came the opportunity to work with college students. This wasn't so bad for I met Becky, who became my wife. Next, the minister of music at our church resigned and I was asked to lead the choir. Yes, I could sing bass and play the cornet and ukulele, but "God, I thought you wanted me to be a pastor!!?"
Eventually, a church wanted me to come preach for them. "Yes, this is it. I can finally be a pastor," I thought. "We will let you know after our business meeting Wednesday," I was informed. That was 41 years ago. I am still waiting for the phone call.
My time of waiting, after 18 years of youth work, student ministry and leading worship, finally ended. My prayer had been answered. The Lord brought me to a church near Liberty, and my first pastorate began.
I learned much in those years and since. "To wait" according to Webster's Dictionary, can mean "to stay in a place while remaining in anticipation" and "to serve, as in waiting tables at a meal." While waiting on the Lord can mean staying where planted, one does not sit idly. Rather, we continue to serve until God is ready to move us. As Paul says to the church at Thessalonica, through perseverance, faith is growing and love is increasing.
David Everly serves as intentional interim pastor at Northgate Baptist Church, Kansas City.
This 2011 Advent devotion originally appeared in the November 17 issue of Word&Way.