I was sitting in a worship service the Sunday after I retired in 1991 from the Florida Baptist Convention after 27 years of service; and before that, 13 years in the pastorate. The thought kept running through my mind:” What will I do now, what’s next for my life?” We began singing “God Will Take Care of You.” Right!? “Be not dismayed what e’er betide, God will take care of you.”
I sang, I prayed, I trusted. And you know what, God has taken care of me and my family! As I sought the Lord’s leadership in prayer, He opened up many doors of opportunity: teaching ESL classes, going on mission trips to Jamaica, serving as interim Director of Missions in a nearby association, directing the Jacksonville Extension Center for Theological Education, working with Senior Adults at Southside Baptist Church, and the last 11 years serving as Senior Adult Minister here at Fruit Cove.
During these years I’ve been much in prayer for my family. They have been a wonderful support. I’ve seen our children and their families grow in the Lord; the grandchildren grow up, great grandchildren being born and wonderful times at family get togethers.
Then, there were those challenging days I prayed, and others prayed, when my wife, Carolyn, was diagnosed with Alzheimers and struggled with this disease over a period of several years. Three years ago she had a couple of strokes and died a few weeks later.
It’s so easy to ask ‘why?’ or ‘what if?’ or say ’if only’, but when you pray “Lord not my will, but Your will be done”, you may not understand, but you must go on praying and trusting in God’s leadership in the difficult times as well as the good times. I realized God loves me and He is still in control. For as the song continues: “No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you.” And He does!