I was in a meeting yesterday afternoon, when one of our secretaries walked in and said, "We've locked the doors [to the church office], we've received a threat on the telephone. Don't let anybody in."
Our church has recently lost several staff members, including our pastor. We're going through some rough times. We have problems that continue to manifest themselves on a daily basis. It's funny, but when I surrendered to the ministry, I really didn't understand that it could be so hard.
My dad pastored several churches during my growing-up days. And I remember the problems that he dealt with. I also remember one particular Wednesday night at a certain church that he had enough and resigned on the spot and left and never went back.
So I've understood that working at a church is not always a walk in the park. But I have also asked myself: Why?
Why do I work in a place where God is worshipped and we are receiving threats? Why don't certain people just stop hating each other so that we can worship the one God who made us all? Why don't people love their ministers instead of trying to find fault with anything and everything that we do?
As it turns out, the threat doesn't appear to be a dangerous one. But the idea that a church must lock its doors as a safety precaution is frankly quite disturbing. So the questions of 'why' plagued me.
And then I realized that Satan doesn't attack the People of God when they are far from Him. Satan attacks God's children when they are doing His work and are at the center of His will. Satan has no desire to go after those who are far from God and make their lives difficult. But if he picks on those who are doing right in the sight of God, then maybe they just might give in.
This is why we go through these difficult times - not because we're not where God wants us, but because we ARE where He wants us.
And because of this, we (I) should take joy when times get tough, because that just confirms that Satan is on the offensive because we are right where God wants us.
Amen and amen.