Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.” Psalm 37:3-5
It never was my thing. I have been a pastor now for four decades and I’ve learned that there are a couple things that just seem to go with being a preacher. Number one is food…and fried chicken…in particular. I know there are pastors who don’t like fried chicken, but I personally tend to look at them with a little suspicion. I mean, you know, chicken—preachers: preachers-chicken. I once heard a couple of chickens talking and one was bragging to the other about her children. The other chicken asked why, and she said, “They are all “in the ministry.” Hmmm. That is a bad joke.
Now the other thing that kinda goes with being a preacher is golf. It goes like this, “So you are a preacher?” “Why yes.” “Do you play golf?” “Of course.” Well, unlike chicken, that is one preacher thing I don’t do and there is a logical reason—I’m terrible at it. I’ve hit the ball a few times but that’s about it. My golfing career came to a sudden stop after one particularly frustrating attempt to play. On that day, I was on the course with a very good friend who had invited me to try and play. After several holes, in frustration, I finally blurted out, “Why am I doing this? I can stay at home and be frustrated for free.” And that was it. Game. Set. Match. Oh wait…that is tennis…another thing I can’t do well. In spite of the demise of my golfing career, I have grown in my appreciation for the game. It obviously involves a whole lot of practice and skill.
One time we were staying at a home in Vero Beach, Florida. The home backed up to a very nice golf course. In fact, it was a world-class course. Even with my limited knowledge, I could tell the fairways on this course were better than the greens on most. It was magnificent. It had strict rules and you had better observe those rules. I had learned the hard way that you don’t drive a cart on one of the greens. If you do you might be shot or at least chased off the course.
Well, we were at this place for about a week and every morning I would have a cup of coffee on the patio and watch all these people play golf. Then something happened that totally surprised me. One morning, a crew with some specialty tractors showed up and began to tear up the part of the course behind our house. They methodically destroyed the thing that only days before they had carefully cultivated and protected. The very thing that would get you thrown out if you abused it was totally messed over. What was going on?
The answer was simple. The caretakers of the course knew that periodically you must come in and rebuild the course. This involves hurting the thing they love so it can be made stronger. It restores the soil which in turn helps the grass to grow stronger and greener. It really confused me but then I realized that is exactly what must happen in our lives. We have a heavenly Father who loves us so very much. Yet, just as the caretaker knew what was good for the course, our Father knows what is good for us. And that means sometimes He allows difficulties and adversity to come into our lives to stretch our faith and to teach us to lean on Him. His activity in our lives, even when it involves painful experiences, is strong proof of His love. Read that again. It means He loves us and cares for us.
God is love, God is good. You can take it to the bank. If we listen to our circumstances and the culture around us, we will be discouraged and disillusioned. There are two things we can do that will keep us on track. First, look back and count our blessings and second, spend time reading and meditating in His book, the Bible. What we put in our brain sure tends to affect how we live. One of the guys who wrote the book of Psalms in the Old Testament part of the Bible said we should trust in the Lord, delight in the Lord, and commit everything to the Lord. That is just good advice.
So here is the end of the golf course story. What had been so torn apart on Monday was already healing and growing by Thursday. Though we had to leave, I’m sure just weeks later, the course was better and stronger than ever—and you can believe and trust our Dearest Daddy for the same. He knows you better than you know yourself and no matter how difficult the day, you can believe that “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne