“finding blessings in the closed door”.
As many of my readers know, over the past year or so, we’ve been intentionally pursuing leadership roles in the local church. The reasons are many; however, most importantly, have centered around a sense that God is calling Lisa and I to use our gifts and talents in a ministry context. Over the past six months, our lives have been “in limbo” waiting an opportunity to evolve for an Executive Director of Ministries role in a local church. Many of you have partnered with us in the journey and know much of our story. Yesterday, we received notice that they will be hiring the other candidate. While we acknowledge some disappointment, today I’m writing on how we’re “finding blessings in the closed door”.
Yes, as I just shared with one of my coaching clients in Spain this morning, I’m likely more excited and full of energy today than I have been in the past few weeks waiting a decision. There is just such a sense of freedom in closed doors! What they mean is a world of possibilities has now been opened (reopened) and God has much greater plans for our lives. What those plans are, we really don’t have a clue at this point! However, isn’t that what makes our journey with Our Heavenly Father so exciting at times?
As He often does, the Lord presented us with a devotion this morning that clearly ties to our journey. When you have 15 minutes, I encourage to click on the picture linked above and listen to Francis Chan’s Living for Greater Things offered by iDisciple. While Chan has many great nuggets in this video, he challenges people who are living a life of “safety first”. In particular, “safety first” when it comes to our finances. Chan states:
“My concern is your going to miss out on the life that is truly life. When you live by faith and you just go, ‘Forget it, I’m just going to cash out and I’m going to bet it all on Heaven. And, so if there is no Heaven, I’m going to look like the biggest fool on earth’…start living like that and you are going experience life.”
Yes, I am so grateful to be able to related to these words and have a wife the shares the same heart. You really need to listen to the video prior to thinking we’ve really, really fallen off the deep end; however, even after you do, you may think we’re “the biggest fool on earth”!
Shifting gears for a second, I also want to share one of the great blessings I’ve experienced throughout the process; however, more in particular over the past week. Last week, I had a moment of reflection where God brought to light the number of people praying and interceding on our behalf specifically related to this particular opportunity. While I may have missed a few as well as not know everyone, I counted a list of over 25 people whom were staying regularly updated and praying regularly for our family. As I reflected on this in the moment, it was such a time of gratitude that it brought me to tears. My only response was to say “thank you” at a heart level and proceed to pray specifically for each of the names the Lord brought to mind. I anticipate many of you reading this were on that list.
Then, with yesterday’s news, I went out to most of these folks as well as others with an update. The responses were incredible. Ranging from great frustration to great encouragement in the faith, my friends words were greatly appreciated. To those reading this blog, please know that I’ve set aside time weekly to pray specifically for you and your families for the next month. If you have specific prayer request, please feel free to send them directly to me.
Yes, friends, we’re finding blessings in the closed door! It’s with great excitement we step out into the next phase of the journey. Candidly, we don’t know if that is going to be in the local church, some other ministry opportunity, or in the marketplace. In some aspects, it doesn’t matter as, wherever the opportunity, there is always a means for ministry which we’ve discovered along the way.
As a reader of this blog, whether it’s your first-time or hundredth time, I want you to know “you’re family”. Lisa and I truly appreciate all of you as “family” and “thank you” for your continued support. Additionally, if today’s blog post prompts something within you that says, “I may have an opportunity The Arnold’s may be interested”, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You never know how God may being using you in the bigger picture story!
God bless! The Arnolds