Monday, March 23, 2009

Christ of All the Corners

"Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate."
J.R.R. Tolkien

A faded little bungalow stood on the corner of the avenue that led to a still little town. Rooms were petite, with little shelves for books and whatnots, a cozy brick fireplace graced the living room, an unfitted kitchen provided opportunity for imagination. The tiny little bedrooms gave just enough room for their requirements, especially for my toddlers, who found their slanted floor a perfect place to exercise their childhood dreams and play.

We regarded the green vinyl floors that embellished most rooms as a minor nuisance. We scrubbed and polished, then finding large carpet remnants with fringed edging and a few braided rugs, softened the cold surfaces. We learned to live with a swelling in the floor that bestowed our living room with an unsightly distortion, which provided our children with unique advantages. And we became accustomed to the sounds and sights of cars and people passing by, who were frequent and always within reach of our windows.

Despite its imperfections and discomforts, the wee parsonage was home and seemed a warm refuge as my husband faithfully executed his young ministry. We were simply thankful to have a dwelling and spent sundry hours, loving our sons, nourishing our marriage, and devoting our hearts to our Savior.

My husband spent many hours at the church, a small, white, common place of worship, whose door measured about fifty footsteps from our own back threshold. Oh, the joy my little sons had upon seeing their father walk across the lawn toward home each day! "Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy's coming!" "Daddy's coming!" They jumped and squealed with delight and were waiting at the door as he entered. It thrilled their hearts, and my husband's, and mine, and was the highlight of our day. Our home was humble, our furnishings meager, and our income small, but our hearts knew the love of Jesus Christ and the blessedness and comfort of having one another.

God's love for us and his excellent grace provide us with everything we need. Through His bountiful blessings, we find contentment and peace in every trial and situation. His Holy Spirit teaches us, through the word of God, through the circumstances of our lives, and our relationships, how to endure hardships, financial trials, and discontent. "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (I Peter 4:12 - 13, NKJV).

My suffering during that early time of our ministry cannot be compared to those of Christ's. Yet, I did endure many heartaches and difficulties as a young pastor's wife of twenty-two. Certainly, there were many stings and arrows from those in the church, as well as my own personal tragedy with miscarriage and homesickness.

As a very young woman, a wife and mother, separated hundreds of miles from my mother and family, I did not, at that time understand the pain. But no money could ransom the suffering and obscurity of those hours. They remain invaluable to me. They eternally altered my life. For I learned to entrust my soul to my Strong and Mighty Tower. I discovered the power of pouring out my heart to El Roi, the responder to needs. I found the reality of knowing the Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counselor. And not having a dad of my own, I learned to cry "Abba, Father."

Truly, the glory of Jesus Christ is only a dream without the reality of pain. My prayer is that I will continue to rest in his faithfulness and look for him in every corner of my life, waiting, trusting, believing, knowing, that just as a shabby little house, the afflictions of a young pastor's wife, the heartbreak of miscarriage, and the loneliness of homesickness shaped my eternal destiny, further trials will continue to conform me to His likeness, so that I can reflect His glory, and one day see my Savior face to face.

My dear, dear friends, continue in the hope and the blessed word of God this day. Find him in every corner of your lives, and rest in His promise to never fail you or leave you. He is working everything you experience for your good in Him. Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).


  1. What a beautiful testimony! I remember my Granddaddy telling stories of his early pastorate days and how hard some things were on my Grandmother. Like you, she remained faithful and used these lessons to grow closer to the Lord. Thank you for sharing this today!

  2. What an amazing story. How wonderful to be able to see the beauty in a small house and rejoice in the love and comfort of your family. As always your words have spoken a message to my soul about our Lord's love and faithfulness. Thank you for a wonderful Monday evening message:)

  3. Early in my husband's ministry and our first pastorate, I too suffered from some of those same trials with the exception of miscarriage. Again during the time I was treated for cancer. I experienced a closeness with our Lord that is still difficult for me to describe.

    Thank you for sharing this, it was a blessing to read.

  4. I was right there with you, on the green floor and in those cramped quarters. I've known my own fair share of "less than" living conditions; still and yet, you've made yours sound so perfect. I wish that I was better at making my parsonage a home for my family. Actually, I wish that you would write more about being a "parson's wife." So many of us need your wisdom, dear friend. I only wish you had a picture to go with this painting of words.

    El Roi, the God who sees. Even as He saw Hagar, He sees me. One of my favorite names of his.


  5. This was so encouraging of God's faithfulness. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

  6. What a sweet story. Life is always best when we live it for the Lord, regardless of the size of our home or our bank account. It's our hearts that we want filled and nothing can fill it like the love of God. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thank you for such encouraging words. The love you have for God is a beautiful light that shines so brightly. What a blessing you are!

  8. Thank you so much for your kind words over on my blog. Thank you too for this post. It means a lot to me.
    Your words paint a picture, but also reveal your heart... the pain and the leaning into Christ.
    Over and over the past few days I have heard the phrase leaning into Christ, leaning hard into God, leaning in so hard to God that there is no way you can fall... this was just another reminder...

    You wrote:
    "God's love for us and his excellent grace provide us with everything we need. Through His bountiful blessings, we find contentment and peace in every trial and situation. His Holy Spirit teaches us, through the word of God, through the circumstances of our lives, and our relationships, how to endure hardships, financial trials, and discontent."

    It is that perseverance and endurance I am going through now... really needing to learn.
    I probably could re-write your whole post right here!
    It touched my heart right where it hurts tonight.
    Thank you for allowing God to speak through you.
    God bless,
    Heather - On the road...

  9. I've found your blog through Elaine at Peace for the a fellow Pastor's wife struggling with re doing the budget because of a pay cut...I've found solace here today. Thank you!


Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,