Suffering and testing will either sweeten or sour you, soften or harden you. There is an old familiar illustration which says that the same sun will melt the wax but harden the clay. It is the character of, or the condition of, the element and not the sun that melts the wax and hardens the clay.
Our church has certainly been tested for the past few years. Part of my thanksgiving this week is the gratitude that I feel for being in ministry with a church that has been softened, and not hardened by the pressures of a diminishing bank account. The leaders have needed to make several difficult decisions and have done so with a spirit of unity and softness. Often-times seasons like this produce disunity and hardness among ministry partners. But God has seen fit to preserve us with attitudes that honor Him. I am grateful to be in ministry with all of you.
- Pastor Jim