February 13

Written by Bill Grandi on February 13th, 2019

I think I will title this Ending my Reach vs Reaching my End.

Sounds ominous when I put it that way. But please hear me out.

Like many people, I felt like life had so much more for me. I had settled into a rut groove and thought life was moving along okay. We were living in my wife’s hometown and I was the pastor of the church. Then I read Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and it stirred something in me. “Every man has a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” I wasn’t ready to pack it in and live a humdrum life.

Fast forward 14-15 years. I’m enjoying  life at another church. I’m reaching for more because I’m not ready to stay stationary. But spiritually the rut groove (no rut is correct) is back. First, a car, then an endo over the handlebars while going downhill changed things. Life changed. Perspective changed. I was 64 years old and it was time to think smartly-physically and spiritually.

Spiritually I recommitted and reconnected my heart to God, the Father. He gave me two wake up calls with the second being the worst. By June/July I had reached the end of myself. Pain like I’d never had before robbed me of fun on my bike. Two hours of sleep a night robbed me of energy needed for the day. Pain when sitting robbed me of the joy of rest and relaxation. I had come to the end of myself. I realized that the fountain of youth I was pursuing was drying up. No more crazy wild at heart notions. Back surgery was in order.

But I also reached the end of me. I had nothing left. But when I had nothing left, that’s when God said, “Good. Now all you have is Me.” My pride had been shot down. My self-confidence, my ability to slog through anything, had been severely damaged. My physical strength, while able to carry me day by day, was waning. I was tired physically and mentally.

Surprisingly though, I was alive spiritually. With the help of a devotional called New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp; the encouragement from a band of brothers; the commitment to a daily time alone with God; and the love of a persistent good, good Father, my spiritual strength grew. Could this be what Paul wrote about in 2 Cor.12 where he said, “My (God) strength is made perfect in your weakness, for when you are weak, then I am strong”? I had indeed reached my end- the end of myself and my strength- and found an even stronger strength. My Father’s. I’ve also  ended my reach for the “high life.” I’ll pursue “His life” for my remaining days (whatever that may be for however long that may be).

“Father, it is You. Your strength I need. I have come to the end of myself and realize it must be Your strength to sustain me. Let Your strength be made perfect in me.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Bill, No had experienced a slump and rut as well. The invitation to join you through our daily dose of encouragement and devotion was exactly what God was prescribing.

    My slump was caused by other things, but looking back and what was a deep dark and lonesome valley was holding me in and I needed the push to keep going.

    I am striving for a second wind physically and working to continue to grow spiritually. I am thankful you were listening when God nudged you into inviting me and bringing me alongside.

    I second your prayer… and I am deeply thankful for our friendship.

    —too sappy for a blog? nah.
    Praying for you brother!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Not too sappy my friend. I’m honored to call you that. I’m glad I listened as well. In most cases, you and I had a running dialogue with it. 🙂

  2. Pursuing “His life” and not the “high life.” Boy, did God ever give you a dramatic wake up call, Bill! But if it made you all that more reliant upon Him, then all the pain and suffering has a happy ending. Thank you, my friend, for being so frank and honest with us here.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I agree Martha. It was quite a wake up call. I once heard Joni say she would trade anything in her experience and I would have to agree with that. It was what was needed. I appreciate your thoughts Martha and willingness to read.

  3. floyd samons says:

    You’re like Jonah and Paul… you can run but you can’t hide!

    Love the wisdom that has learned we get in the way of ourselves and our Father’s will.
    And thanks for using it in your ministry that God is using to speak to others… like me.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’d have to agree on that running but can’t hide comment. His love never lets go. And if I can help one person not make the same mistake it will be worth it to share it. Thanks Floyd.