June 3

Written by Bill Grandi on June 3rd, 2024

I’m sure you have noticed that we all go through different seasons in our lives. Life seems to be a series of ebbs and flows, of hills and valleys, and in my case, highs and lows, heartaches and sheer joy. As a pastor I have experienced, I think, just about every life situation. The past two weeks have been some of the wildest times of ups and downs I have ever experienced in my 50+ years of ministry. No details but simple words will tell you all you need to know: cancer, strokes, hospice then death, kids’ baseball games, kids going to church camp, a college student being baptized, disappointment over a setback on an addiction, grad parties, surgeries, a daughter’s birthday (which means I am getting older)…you get the picture.

People often ask me how I cope with all of this. My job is not a physical one like so many; mine is more mental and emotional. Two ways: on a surface level I go to the Y and ride a bike. I call those my stress relievers. On a deeper, more spiritual level I cling to verses like I read this morning: Psalm 59:16-17- “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me unfailing love.”  Sometimes I run to Him and hold on for dear life. I cling tenaciously. Sometimes I run to Him and simply let Him love me. I can sense His arms around me. I like a quote I just read:

Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture more natural to Him is not a pointed finger but open arms. (Dane Ortlund from Gentle and Lowly quoted in Shepherding the Shepherd by Lee Eclov-p.39)

I can’t do this on my own. Neither can you. I have a place (a refuge) where I can go. Do you?

 

8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Prayers for you, Bill. Ours is not a job—it’s a life. Pastoring is like farming—all consuming. Your congregation is not just a group of parishioners. They are your family, friends, colleagues, and companions. Simply put, you love them. What hurts or thrills them, hurts or thrills you.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thank you Pam. Your comment can only come from someone who lives the same life in the trenches.

  2. God is my refuge and my strength, always. There’s no place I would rather be than in His arms.
    Blessings, Bill!

  3. gail says:

    I have been studying the life of Paul and all of his letters for several months now. One of many things I have learned is how much and how often Paul asked for prayers. Not because he was weak, wanted an easier life, or wanted material things. Paul needed and wanted prayers for his ministry and his obedience to Christ’s will. That is why I always remember to pray for my pastors, elders, and the churches and their pastors and elders in owen county. Leadership is hard, and demanding work, and with Jesus being the head of the churches we need to make sure it His will, and his agenda we are pursuing. We cannot do that alone, we need to make sure that our spiritual life with Christ and church life are working together, to accomplish God’s will. We need to fervently pray for our pastors, and their ministry, and the health of our churches, we do not want to be a church of luke warm parishioners that God wants to spit out.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thank you Gail for your prayers. They do not go unheard (by Him) and unappreciated (by me). Keep them coming!

  4. Ryan S. says:

    Your post really got me thinking this morning…
    So much so, I have not been able to put into words my thoughts or feelings into a short response.

    Just know that you are appreciated and have made a difference in the lives of those who God has put in your care.

    Not to take away from what you do on Sunday morning, but more importantly, are the relationships you build and nurture throughout the week.

    Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to reach those in Spencer and the surrounding communities.

    Just remember to take the time untangle your emotions, feelings, and spirit from those in your care.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Wow Ryan! I am humbled and blown away by your thoughts and your care. I know my job is more than Sunday morning and I guess that is why I try so hard to cultivate relationships outside the building. The downside of that is getting close to people and being unable to untangle (as you use) my emotions from the people. I am not ashamed to admit that I love people and love getting close to them. i will listen to your advice though because I must do just that.

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