It bears saying that the Lord knows what is required to get who he wants to where he wants them. I had applied for dozens of jobs, getting interviews for things I was clearly qualified for, but failed to get a single one of those jobs. That led us to follow my wife’s work for a time and took us to places without which I certainly wouldn’t be in ministry today. My self-employment freed me up to serve in my church in ways I wouldn’t have been able should I be in almost any of the other jobs I applied for. It also prepared me in all sorts of ways that I look back and see how it was specific preparation for what I am doing now.
I have always believed that the Lord knows exactly what it takes to get the people he wants to the places he wants them. He also knows what it’ll take to keep the people in the places he wants to keep them too. Sometimes the Lord hedges you in and other times he makes the option to do something such a no brainer that it seems like evidently the only thing you would countenance doing differently under the circumstances.
It is quite easy, in a deprived town like ours, to get plaudits for what we are doing. My wife and I are frequently reminded that the decision for us to come wasn’t grounded in some deep sense of inner-calling. The fact is, when I was called to the ministry I wasn’t even looking for a ministry role. But I was called by a church and the question of desire came after the fact. Evidently I did desire the job on some level because I said ‘yes’ to doing it, but it bears saying that didn’t come about as a sense of deep conviction that I should be in ministry nor any sense that I should serve in a deprived area.
I won’t go into the whys and wherefores of how we came to see it as right. But I will point to one. It is not the most godly of reasons (though not ungodly of itself) but underlines the point.