It’s happened to you….most likely. You ended up on the wrong side of a terrible situation. This can take place in many ways but I’d like to focus on one in specific today. Betrayal.
It’s no secret in these here parts that my brother is no longer with the ministry that God used him to create over 10 years ago. He started collecting furniture and household goods in his garage to give to those who needed it. He then grew it to one storage facility and then two. From there it expanded to an entire house that was owned by a nearby church. Having outgrown that, they rented a small warehouse in an industrial park…then two. Finally, they leased a 45,000 (or 54,000) square foot facility in nearby Oakmont. Thousands of families were blessed to receive furniture with the only buy in was renting their own truck to take it away and getting to hear about the love of Jesus.
Along they way it seemed to be prudent to formalize the ministry and create a board of directors. The relationship with the board of directors resulted in my brother no longer being affiliated in any way with the ministry that God used him to create.
On a much lessor scale I have felt the same sting. I volunteered for a year at a local church for a pastor who had expressed his need for help. Having made many positive changes at the church it was never formal but certainly understood that I would have every opportunity to become the next pastor. It never came to be, not even close. Who said what, who did what, who was to blame? It didn’t matter. I did my best, served as well as I could, and didn’t really even get a chance.
Jim Rayburn started the ministry of YoungLife. After several years of God inspired incredible success the board of directors that he founded, he was fired.
One of the things my brother has found since his departure is that he is not alone. Pastors, leaders of ministries, staff people, all walks of life have gone through a similar (though obviously not exact) situation. So what to do? Where do you go from there? Where is God in all of this?
You ask the question you always ask? Why? Almost more importantly you then must pray…and listen. First and foremost you must look within and see if there has been any error in your ways. No matter what has happened you have to see if any of it, or more realistically what portion of it, was your fault. Then, look to see what God is doing. I explained to my kids about the most recent situation that God takes these things and makes good come from them (they were more than aware of this through our experiences with Trey). Before they asked I said that I don’t know if God causes these situations or simply allows them. Regardless, good can always come from them. The quicker you look for it, the more earnestly you seek it, the better off you’ll be.
Do know this, you must heal. You can’t just “toughen up” and “bite the bullet” and “seek the high road.” You need comfort. You need to realize that you are not alone. That is where God begins to show His love, comfort, and control.
Jim Rayburn was rehired by YoungLife and it continued to grow into the world’s largest youth outreach ministry. After a 2 year sojourn I began to plant a church that merged with an existing congregation and now three years later, Faith Community Church is by far exactly where the Lord would have me be. The other church now (one Pastor later) has a great Pastor and is growing as well. What of my brother?
He and his wife have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love, comfort and support. They have had people call, write, text, and meet with them. Beyond that, it’s the message of love that they have received. These aren’t people with axes to grind or even picking “sides.” They are just there for them. It has been beautiful, loving, and healing.
When tragedy happens, what are you/we to do? You must avoid bitterness, isolation, revenge, and sin. Then, accept comfort, reach out for help, heal. Next, look for what God is doing. Where is He in all of this? Where is He leading you to go? What does He want you to do? It is and will be amazing to see what He has in store for you. You can not only survive…but be much better off for the ordeal.