Seven months ago almost to the day, I woke up with the word perplexed on my mind. Why on earth would I have such a word on my mind? After all the anticipation of a beautiful vacation visiting my grand baby in Chicago was the only thing I allowed to consume my mind with such beautiful thoughts of seeing her and spending much-needed precious moments together. However so, perplexed, I was.
Yes perplexed, knowing that I was awaken with such a word on my mind the eve of what was supposed to be the best three-weeks vacation ever! Yes, I was preparing for the renewal retreat of a refreshing me, Body Mind and Aw, my Soul! However true, my mind would not release this annoying word. So straight to the my Bible I ran for the answer. What I found was so appropriate as it spoke about the “Trials Abound In the Ministry” in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 & 16: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in body.” “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” Wow!
What an Awakening! God is so amazing on how He will lead a perplexed individual to the right words at the right time to sooth a shattered soul! This scripture made me realized something of great importance. However true, I just had a notion to search out my friend Webster as well and see what he had to say about such a word that started my day on this crazy path. Webster describes Perplex: “To disturb mentally; CONFUSED” Perplexed: “Filled with uncertainty; PUZZLED: 2) Full of difficulty; COMPLICATED.” In other words, “To make unable to grasp something clearly or to think logically and decisively about something.” Wow, yet again! In the natural Webster literally described exactly how I was feeling with each and every word listed, that moment in time.
Needless to say, I was truly ready for my self-imposed emotional, mental, spiritual and physical get-a-way from the world as I knew it. I needed a refresh outlook on everything around me, husband, check; son, check; daughter, check; and Aw church members, so call friends and yes my ministry, check; Oh well on these, let’s do a double-check, just in case! “Cause, Lawdy– Those Chuch Folks going to be the death of my soul yet!” A line from a play I am in the process of writing. I have learned that some times things hurt so bad you have to laugh to keep from crying.
However true, before I can get to the annual conference to where me and my ministry would be analyzed and examined to determined if I am a candidate to represent the connectional denominational church or better yet to remain on trial in which I am a member (a complicated process to assure that my character passes), for yet another year. Nevertheless, unbeknown to me, my fate was determined weeks before my arrival. So there I stood In the present of many. The words that resonated throughout the room I can still hear as though I was standing in the same place today. Those piercing words, “Rev. Jones, We just don’t know what to do with you, after all you have been on trial for so long we just don’t have any place for you to go but back to your local church!” Wow, Perplexed is right! As though I was in a Charlie Brown movie, seeing the mouth moving but all I was really hearing was, wa-wa-wa-not believing my ears!
Back to the profound scripture. It revealed an awesome jewel of awareness that even though I have been casted out of the place I thought I belonged to, and where I was loyal in doing ministry, in hope to one day pastor a church. Instead, I was deeply burden with the weight of perplexity and left the conference with these crazy words resonating in my ears, “the committee no longer knows what to do with you since I have been on trial for so long.” I took that as a point to prove that I was no longer good enough to be a candidate whom they would consider for pastor-ship nor did I have what it took to remain on trial, better yet to represent the connectional church on such a level. It seem as though my talents was only good enough to be used for the local church. Perplexed is Right!
What I thought was a direct low blow to my loyalty, integrity, character, and yes what I represented in my ministry. Not to mention overcoming such betrayal, back stabbing, and outright deception that hid itself behind the many masks disguised as friends or from people, of all places the church in whom a lot of trust has been placed. Needless to say was nothing compared to the pain of the embarrassment and the manner things were handled together with the piercing and painful words I could not erase from my mind.
Oh How Awesome it is to Rest in The Bosom of God~He will fight All of your Battles! “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of Him who prospered in His way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any wise to do evil (Psalms 37:7-8).” Only God knows your heart and what you are thinking. Only God can give you a clean heart as he teaches you to forgive your friends and foes alike. Only God have a way of protecting you from the very things your enemies uses to come against you. Only God can and will strengthen you in and at your very point of weakness, and protect you from the enemy’s line of fire.
Life Lessons Straight From This Scripture:
I was troubled on every side, yet I was not distressed enough to give up on what I knew God had ordained in me regardless to what everyone else may say or think. I was perplexed, but I was not in despair, that is to lose all hope to completely walk away from the Church because I know the Church lives inside of me. I was persecuted by men, but my God promised to never leave nor forsake me. I was cast down from where I thought God wanted me and from where I thought I belonged. I am not, by no means destroyed and realized that my destiny is not in the confinement of four walls. I became faint for a brief moment and had to get myself together in my temporary point of weakness, yet the Inward wo-man is renewed day by day!
To God Be The Glory!
Author of Battle Scars of Emotions~
Divine Healing from the Scars of Life