Our church celebrated and honored our youth pastor and his wife for their three years of service. God has been speaking to their hearts and, together with their young son, they will be moving to the next phase of their lives. Many people gave moving testimonies and a beautiful slide show captured the intimate relationships they had fostered. At the end, both the pastor and his wife took to the podium to thank everyone.
“Thank you so much!” he began. “This is so unexpected. We are so overwhelmed by your kindness! You know, this may sound strange, but I haven’t left and I’m already missing all of you!”
It was a very touching speech. Our youth pastor poured out his heart as he recounted the lives of the many youth that he was blessed to work with and see their growth in Jesus Christ. He shared that he was beginning to understand the longing in the heart of the Apostle Paul, when he wrote the following passage to the young pastor and his protege, Timothy. The Apostle Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit, laid the foundation for many of the leading churches in the known world. His letters ring with the names of many saints for whom he was intimately acquainted. His heart ached to be with them.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy.
Philippians 1:3-4 (ESV)
God used this young pastor to touch so many lives in our church. And God used our church to touch his life. It was more than just his first ministry. We are family, brothers and sisters, united in the love of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Though all of us may be departed from one another for a short time, we have the assurance of God that someday we will be reunited in Heaven, in the presence of God.
I already miss my pastor, too. But the love of Jesus Christ will always keep us together!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.