Twenty years ago, I lived in a Midwestern town with a population of 3,000 people. It was a close-knit community with great schools and people who greeted you on the street. I worked in a small Christian bookstore and was also a member of a home group who prayed for numerous people.
One of the people we prayed for was a Lutheran pastor. He was around forty years old, full head of hair, and wore a clerical collar. All of us gathered around him, laid hands on him, and then I prophesied to him about his calling and some plans I felt the Lord had for him.
When I finished, the Holy Spirit came upon him and he fell to the floor. Something, he did not believe in nor had ever experienced before in his life. As he laid on the floor the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart and gave him even more revelations.
Now, let’s fast forward to eight months later.
The same Lutheran pastor had fifteen year old son who committed suicide. It was such a shocking devastation that the whole community shut down for the funeral. Long lines of people waited to offer sympathetic words to the pastor and his wife.
Somehow, I ended up being at the end of the line. When I approached the couple, I felt the Holy Spirit wanted to speak some words of encouragement to the pastor.
“You can’t quit,” I said.
“What?” he replied through tear-filled eyes.
“You can’t quit on your calling,” I said. “Because if you quit, that means the devil has won. And the Lord and your son do not want you to quit just because the battle has been tough. Keep on walking.”
Every part of the mask he was hiding behind fell off his face. He stood there as a destroyed man, tears streaming down his face. His wife gripped his arm.
“I can’t go on,” he whispered.
“Yes, you can.”
We held each other and wept. Then, the two walked into the sanctuary for the funeral services.
Sometimes, it feels like we can not make it into our callings or fulfill our divine destinies because the price is too costly. That is a lie because the Lord is able to turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with joy.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)