"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
I can't believe it, but unless my calculator is wrong, it was 40 years ago this month that I graduated from college and began working as a full time minister.
I loved receiving a Christian education and benefited greatly from it, but it came to an end. My young wife and I were excited but frightened to begin our marriage and a new ministry in the state of Vermont. We loved each other and our work, but three years later, it was no longer just the two of us as we began a family.
Our first ministry lasted over five years and was beneficial to us and to those we worked with, but we received a job offer to move to Carson City, Nevada and that part of our life closed.
For over 10 years, I was active in a prison ministry, but that came to an end and I moved on. There were other ministries that I led for years, and someone else took them over. There were times that I was devastated and thought my world had ended. For 20 years, I ran daily and loved it. Recently I was told that arthritis had destroyed my hips. How would I ever make it? Well, my left hip was replaced in March, and the right one comes this Monday.
What is the point of all this rambling? Well, every time one chapter in my life closes, God opens a brand new, exciting plan before me. Each time I thought things were terrible, God had new pathways in mind for me. Out of every disappointment, and I have mentioned only a few here, God had great joys ahead for me in new and exciting venues.
You see, He makes a promise to those who love him. " ... all things work together for good." (Romans 8:28).
What lies ahead? Only He knows, but I know it will be right.
• Bruce Henderson is pastor of the Airport Road Church of Christ in Carson City and a member of the Carson City Christian Ministerial Fellowship.