As you know, Mark and I are in seminary at RTS in Charlotte, and as you know, our dear friends and neighbors have recently moved.
What you may not know is that we met the Van Vlake's at RTS in Charlotte. Marcus was in both Mark and my classes, and Shelly and I attended women's functions together. For a year and half, Marucs was our classmate.
It was at RTS that Marcus recruited Mark to move to Clover. Now, I don't want to say that what Marcus wants, Marcus gets, but ... !!! He would say it was all according to God's will.
We would agree.
Growing our friendship with this family has renewed our sense of perspective as far as seminary is concerned. Though Marcus began as our classmate, in the past year we have seen him graduate with his MDiv, study for and pass all his ordination exams, and become ordained as a minister of the gospel in the PCA. Praise God!
A week ago, he baptized Hudson.
Looking back on this year and all of Marcus and Shelly's accomplishments, we have been able to catch a glimpse of what we have to look forward to. There is a point and a purpose to these years of studying!
The night Marcus and Shelly told us that they had decided to accept a call as Senior Pastor at another church, we were casually sitting out by the fire having a good ole' time. What a way to ruin a perfectly good evening!
Marcus, as only he can, transitioned from a conversation about God's sovereignty to their decision to leave.
God's sovereignty is his complete and perfect control over all the circumstances and situations in life.
I discussed this before in a post about the shootings in Aurora.
Understanding God's sovereignty requires first having an understanding of God's character. It is to know that God is a good and loving God. He is also an all-powerful God. If he was not, would he still be God?
The fact that he is good allows us to rest in and accept the fact that he is all-powerful.
In Romans 8:28, Paul writes that "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
The God of the Universe is a good God, and he is a God who loves his people. Thus, everything that happens is for our good and his glory!
As I end this week of Van Vlake reflecting, it is natural that I ultimately come back to and think upon God's character and his sovereignty.
He is a good God who loves our family and the Van Vlake's.
It was for our good and his glory that we have spent this last year as neighbors.
It was for our good and his glory that they have been called elsewhere and that we remain.
It is with sorrow, but peace that we let them go.
What a sweetness there is in living life as a child of God!
Lesson Learned: The Lord is good all the time.The Lord bless and keep you, Van Vlakes!