Today was a day I waited twenty years for—a prolonged wait that stretched me to become the man that I am today. In ’97 I responded to the call of God to serve Him as a college pastor. In those early years, it was evident that the necessary character of Christlikeness was lacking in my life. Soon thereafter I found myself on the backside of the desert, wondering, Did I forfeit my calling?
Along the lonely path there were many low points. Much pain. Many deaths.
As I confronted daunting odds, it felt like everything was collapsing in my life. Yet I stood on specific promises of God that I uncovered in His Word as I sought His face. This is what I had to do. There was no alternative. There was no easy road out. Sometimes the only way out is by death. We lay down our very lives as we identify with the cross of Christ. We die to our dreams and ambitions. But death isn’t for the faint of heart or timid or the nominal follower of Christ. The very presence of the Cross of Calvary demands that you die with Christ (Galatians 2:20)—when we persevere in the grace of God, there’s a glory in the previous deaths because at some point, a resurrection will follow.
Today I wept. Bottled up tears flowed freely down my cheeks. Twenty years of tears. Tears born from a deep place that only pain and suffering can carve within the soul of a man. Tears that only the finger of God can say, It’s time to move on, it’s time for the new thing.
I experienced a resurrection. I’m a new man. Sometimes our resurrection takes longer than three days. Lazarus had to wait four days. Sometimes it takes longer. Much longer. Some wait twenty years. Or even longer. But remember this: the ignoble death becomes a glorious resurrection!
On this day I was ordained. It was a holy moment. I was set apart unto the Lord. The wait was worth it. The pain of yesterday’s death pales in comparison to the resurrection faith that resides within as love compels me forward with hope for tomorrow.
I’m grateful for all who made it possible. This include the leadership at Awakening Community Church (including the Fredericksburg Prayer Furnace)—I can’t express enough my love for Scott Bradshaw and David Bradshaw, along with the other leaders. Thanks to all who participated in the service and for those who attended this special moment. Thank you.
Due to the request of many, I have made the video of the ordination service available for those who desire to view it. The worship alone by Darrian Summerville is worth playing during your quiet time before the Lord. Others will enjoy the message by Bill Yount that’s filled with nuggets from above. Although Papa Lou was not able to attend, he graciously recorded a video beforehand to share affirming words that spoke deeply to my heart. Again, I am utterly grateful for all who made this possible.
In closing, I simply say amen to what Scott Bradshaw said at one point in the service: You will never be the same again!