“All my days were written in your book and planned
before a single one of them began.”
It was thirty years ago this week that Amy and I and our two girls first moved to Arnold, Missouri for me to begin serving as pastor of Rockport Baptist Church. Stef was almost five. Kim had just turned one. And I was a 28 year old kid who just wanted to serve Jesus, but really wasn’t sure what I was doing. I remember praying in those first few weeks, “Lord, please don’t let me kill this church!” Amy and I thought we would only be here a few years. Our eyes were fixed on future mission’s service overseas. Rockport, we thought, was just a quick stop along the way – a place to serve God as long as He would have us here, but certainly not anything that would be long term.
God, obviously, had other plans. Little by little, He began to knit our hearts to this place and the people He began to draw into the fellowship. And I began to fall in love with the calling God had given to serve this church, to teach His word, and to encourage others to grow in grace and to put Christ first. One thing led to another and before we realized it, we’d been here these thirty years
Looking back over these past decades, I can remember lots of joys, many failures, moments of heartache, challenges, disappointments, surprises, celebrations and tons and tons of grace. But more than anything, when I look back, I remember the people I have been privileged to know and serve, the children I have seen grow up and begin families of their own, the young men and women God has equipped and sent out, as well as dear friends who have finished their race and now see Him face to face in glory. I know that as long as I remain here, I still have much to learn. And I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds it and I am content to remain in His hands.
May the Lord continue his grace to us who don’t deserve it!