“Life’s Unexpected Twist”

“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him” Mark 5:1-2

Sometimes you end up at a place you did not plan to go. It was that way with the disciples. On the northwestern corner of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus had said, “Let us go over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). They probably figured they could hug the shoreline, sail a few miles, and then end up on the northeastern edge of the lake where a number of them had their homes, Bethsaida.

But the wind blew them off course, and they hit the shore several miles southeast of Bethsaida, at Gadara.

Have you ever been blown off course with an unexpected twist in life? I will be the first to put up my hand.

I graduated from seminary in Fort Worth with a wife and two small daughters. As Sister Tina and I were seeking God’s direction, I received a phone call from a pastor in Los Angeles asking us to serve as associate pastors at his church. We were not from California, not knowing of anyone there, but God did a suddenly moment in an unexpected twist, and we went. After serving in the Los Angeles church for two years and being very happy there, thinking we would be permanent Californians, God did another unexpected twist in our lives and opened up a door for us to serve at a large church in Houston. We were in Houston eleven years, thinking we would be permeant Houstonians, but God did another surprise twist and brought us back to our home church in San Antonio to serve as pastors.

Sometimes Jesus takes us to places we do not intend to go, for I never intended to go to California. We prefer to go, as did the disciples, to a familiar place where we know our friends and family. But, we find ourselves in places we have never been, working in situations we did not choose, or living in a neighborhood not of our choosing. When I look back on it, if I never went to California, I would have never went to Houston, and more than likely would not have ended up full circle back home.

It must have been a shock when the disciples found themselves in Gerasene land. It’s likewise a shock when we find ourselves where we had no intention of going or wished we didn’t have to remain.

But on the other side of the lake was a person who needed the Lord’s help. From the shoreline, that man watched as the boat drew near. Then he raced to the shore line to welcome Jesus.

The incident became a life lesson for the disciples. Contrary winds would sometimes take them where they had no intention of going, but the Lord knew someone desperately needed their presence, help, and the good news they carried.

As we look ahead, God has some unexpected twists for you and our church. Often, they will come as a surprise and not seem logical. But, as we pursue and seek after God we know that God orders our steps and directs our paths. There are people on the other side of the lake who need our presence, help, and prayers. Let us allow God to shake up our comfort zones and be willing and available for the tremendous things He has ahead.

Until then, let us continue…

Changing Lives for Eternity!

With Love,

Pastors Terry & Tina Richardson