Blog Post by the Rev. Dr. Craig Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy Transitional Leader
A good friend, my best friend, found himself and his family in a bit of trouble. He asked if I would pray for him. I was so touched by the circumstance I prayed and prayed hard. I’m not talking about him being “in my thoughts and prayers,” I’m talking about old fashioned get-down-on-my-knees, petition the throne of God, and resist the devil praying! I went back to my Pentecostal roots and called upon the name of the Lord like I haven’t done in a while.
I received a call yesterday from my friend. The worst has come upon him and his family. My prayers did not stop the calamity.
I feel heartbroken and sad. I’ve been tearful since I received the news. And I am still prayerful.
It seems my excellent theological education and my role as Transitional Presbytery leader does not make me immune to the struggles of being a Christian; struggles of learning what it means to walk with God.
I believe the core purpose of each congregation is to make disciples. This means making sure the Word of God is truly preached and heard, and sacraments are properly administered and received. It also means living in community and sharing our joys and concerns. Becoming a disciple means constantly letting go of the simple notion of God as the provider of our wishes and dreams, and instead, embracing the Christ who suffered and died while doing God’s will.
This is a lesson I learn repeatedly. It is learning to trust God, while not tempting God. It is being a co-creator with Christ, working and serving to change the world. It means listening for the move of the Holy Spirit, and being willing to stop when the Spirit says stop, and go when the Spirit says go.
May the God of all consolation, comfort those in time of tribulation, even my best friend. Amen.
Rev. Craig M. Howard