I was greatly impacted by a meeting that I had nearly 15 years ago with my pastor at the time. During the meeting I was talking about my desire for ministry and a great burden for the gospel to be clearly preached and central to all that we do.
In the midst of the conversation the pastor got annoyed. His annoyance seemed to be connected to my burdens and how they communicated a referendum on his ministry.
At one point in the conversation he said something that left a tremendous impact on me. He said baldly:
When you get old you come to see that things don’t work out so neatly. We’ll see if you have the same passion in 10 years.
His statement did two things.
First, it knocked me off my feet. I respected this man. He was a bit of a hero to me. I listened when he pulled from the bag of his experience and dropped some calculated wisdom like this. What if he was right? What if the passion and conviction goes stale? I was taken back to say the least.
Second, it galvanized me. His statement was basically a challenge to the grace, power and faithfulness of God. I wondered, “Do you think God will lose steam? Will his grace go flat? What are you saying?”
Over the last 15 years I have replayed the conversation in my head. I have thought about those words. I hear them again and again. And I come back to them and say, “God’s grace is not flat! The glories of calvary will never go stale! Don’t project your narrative on the normative pattern of a Christian life!”
Here I am again, 15 years later, in the same time of year, and I’ll say it again. God’s grace does not go flat. His heavenly manna in the gospel does not mold or go stale. Part of me wants to see him and say, “How you like me now!” But more, it’s this grace of God, so, “How you like Him now?!”
This guy taught me many things but none more practical and lasting than when he challenged God’s grace and faithfulness. That day has caused me to marvel at God in a myriad of ways. For this I’m thankful.