*Yesterday, I posted an article that I had written as a guest post for a friend of mine. He has written a guest post for Thoughts from a Crosseyed Jesus Freak, and I am excited to share his words with you today. Peter writes at https://www.onlyopendoor.com/ about the Church and why we need to be involved. He’s also the youth minister at First Christian Church in Lovington, NM and in his own words is, “That Other Jesus Freak”.*
My 15th birthday was a day of joy and total sorrow. Just like any other birthday, I got to choose a friend to join me and my family for dinner at a restaurant of my choice. After dinner, I was told we would take my friend home, then head home for a bit before anyone was allowed to do anything that evening. It was then that my parents sat my brothers and I down in the living room. I knew something was up, we never met this way. That evening, my parents broke the news that my father only had months to live.
Years later, I had the opportunity to become a youth pastor in Arizona. I was fresh out of college, well, I was 26 at the time I graduated, and this was my first chance to work in the ministry. I was excited and scared to be moving from Minnesota to Arizona. Things started off so well, but they didn’t end up that way. After only months, I started to feel the negative attitude of some in the church, and it never really got any better, which ultimately led to my negative departure.
These stories are not meant to depress you or make you feel sorry for me. I share these stories because as a Jesus Freak, I feel the need to share the positive side of these negative stories. You see, God answers all our prayers. You might be thinking, you prayed that God would take your father? That would be insane. I prayed for my father to be healed. I prayed to be able to do God’s work and to grow in my own spiritual walk. God’s answer is not always the one we want though.
You see, my father was healed. He was a Christ follower, and I truly believe that he has a new body, free of tumors, in heaven. Not exactly the healing I wanted at the time. I also would have loved to continue working with the students I had in Arizona, but God wanted me to take some time away from ministry to grow personally before landing me in New Mexico as a youth pastor once more.
There will be trials in our lives, especially if we choose to follow Jesus Christ. It isn’t an easy life to be a true Christ follower. If it were easy, there would be more people that would give up the things this world offers to follow Christ. There will be tough times ahead.
But we can have comfort in Christ through these tough times!
John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (CSB)
Being courageous is sometimes easier said than done. It is not easy to be courageous when you are faced with uncertainty and loss. But Jesus also tell us this in Luke 12:25-26
“Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? 26 If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest” (CSB)
We cannot live our days worrying about what will come. We MUST learn to trust that God will provide us with what we need. When the times are tough, call on Him. When things are going well, thank Him. Don’t worry about what the world will think of you when you follow Christ.
“I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus Freak, there ain’t no disguising the truth.”
Thoughts from that other Jesus Freak, Peter Wernimont.