Posts Tagged ‘God’s Will’

God’s Will for Dummies

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015


It was the fall of 1989; I was in the building supply business in Nashville, Tennessee, with a somewhat vague plan to enter the ministry in 1995, after our son graduated from high school. The way Cathy and I had it  scripted, when Michael left school for the University of Tennessee, we would then be  in a position to swap selling lumber for selling Jesus.  The phone buzzed in my office; when I took the call my friend Jeff was on the line.  He asked me to meet him at the Cooker for lunch. Just before I hung up, he said that he would have David Graves with him. The name meant nothing to me.  Jeff told me that David was a pastor friend of his. He was a sharp looking man who was immaculately dressed and in his mid thirties, with not a hair out of place or a wrinkle to be seen. He didn’t look like the typical preachers that I had been exposed. In fact he looked  very “corporate”.  As the three of us were having lunch, I got the impression that Jeff was trying to sell David to me. Quite honestly, I was clueless where our conversation was headed. About the time I bit into my cheeseburger, David looked straight at me and said, “John  I would like for you to join my staff at Grace Church  as my administrator and associate pastor”. When I try I can be a pretty good actor. I was able to continue chewing my mouthful of burger without even a hint that I thought perhaps I was hallucinating.

Since that lunch, my twenty-five year ministry, spanning three churches, has been one heck of a ride. I have experienced the ultimate highs and a few lows so deep and dark that I questioned both my faith and myself.   Because of David’s trust in me, I have been privileged to have something that few mortals ever experience – fulfillment and incredible joy even in the midst of pain.

People frequently ask me, “How do you know if something is God’s will?”  The answer is that often I am not at all sure where my will ends and God’s will begins. However, I do know this. When something out of the blue, like my lunch with David Graves happens, something that we did not manipulate and it is so out of the ordinary as was my entrance into ministry, when that happens the smart money will be in the God column.

Something to Think About