After two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida, I earned my Master’s degree in counseling. I learned how to listen to and care for people, including those who were going through deep crises.
There’s more: During the last month of study, God went into action again. He began to write the next chapter in my life. Dramatically, he called me into ministry. With tear-filled eyes, I surrendered everything to God’s will. This had been the Father’s will for me before the world was ever created.
That was a transition I’ll never forget. And I could see God’s plan for me continuing to unfold.
I entered seminary with an undergraduate degree in communications and a graduate degree in counseling. What are the two most important skills a pastor needs to have a successful ministry? To be able to talk and to listen. I had both as a part of my education before ministry.
God went before me. He guided every step. He had been preparing me for this stage of my life. He had for me a glorious future filled with hope. All of this was based on a plan for me he had authored before the world was created.
Also, if I hadn’t spent those two years in Gainesville, I would not have been in seminary at the right time to meet my wife on a blind date at the end of my first year. Out of nowhere, we met. Our coming together was an amazing, sanctified, serendipitous event led by God’s grace.
And now, more than 40 years later, I look at our three kids. And I look at our grandkids. And I think of the future generations that will enter this world because of the love and commitment Marilynn and I have for one another and Jesus.
All these amazing, wonderful people would never have entered this world if that European basketball team had not chosen to void my contract. At the time, being let go by the team seemed awful. It created great anxiety. But from God’s perspective, being released was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. He knew what he was doing. My story was within God’s story.
History in his story.
Think on the things that are above. Develop an eternal perspective on your life. There’s a big plan unfolding. God has everything covered. He knows what he is doing. It’s his plan.
Surrender. Trust him. Believe that he is controlling your life.
When you do, your anxiety will go away.