Life comes at you fast. Some weeks its hard for me to remember on Friday what I did on Monday. I actually had to do the math and double check that I had not messed up the year, but after triple checking myself, I concluded that it had been 16 years. 16 years ago I had the stirring in my spirit that my life was set apart for full-time, vocational ministry. 16 years ago I realized that no other “job” would ever make sense and my life would be spent in service to Christ and His church. Kneeling in front of my bishop as he laid hands on me and prayed “send down the Holy Spirit on your servant Joshua for the office and work of a deacon in your church” made me come to one definitive conclusion: God is faithful.
The Christian faith has often been defined as a journey and that journey has ups and downs; it has moments of sheer joy and utter pain. Mostly, though, it is filled the mundane. Day after day, month after month, year after year slugging it out in the trenches trying everyday to remember if “God really said.” Through the angst of my teenage years, to being thrown to the wolves in my first “church job,” remembering my calling was often a task. At the lowest moments, I remember asking why I was doing this. Why deal with the head aches, the loneliness, and nasty church fights? It would be much easier to get out of Dodge and simply exist among my family and in my comfort zone. It was in those moments, though, the Holy Spirit would remind me of the past faithfulness of God.
My professor of worship at Seminary once said, “As you continue to journey in your Christian faith you will realize that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are your fathers as well. If God was faithful to them, He will be faithful to you!” In the 16 years since my calling, often all I had to cling to was remembering; rightly remembering that the same God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Christ was my God. Even as hell breaks all around, I can trust that He will be faithful to me like He was faithful to my family in ancient past. This was my last inch; when all else had been shaken, I leaned on this truth and it held.
These thoughts and more rushed through my head as I knelt before my bishop and received an impartation that had been past down for two thousand years. It was a moment that I will chronicle alongside Shiloh, Mt. Moriah, Gethsemane, and Nicaea. As the weeks have passed since that momentous day—the day of my ordination—I know that my journey of faith will reveal plenty more ups and downs; trials and joys likely greater in degree than that which I have traveled through already. But this I know: He was faithful, He is faithful, and He will be faithful.