Throughout the years of the Exodus, the Israelites feared the pagan kingdoms that dwelled in the land that God promised as their inheritance. In Exodus 23:30, the Lord told the Israelites, “Little by little I will drive them [your enemies] out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.” Even after the great victory God gave them against the city of Jericho when they first crossed into Canaan, their effort to occupy the rest of the Promised Land would take many more years, numerous battles, and countless learning experiences for the young nation of Israel. But with each new challenge they encountered, Yahweh increased their strength, courage, and faith.

Many believers experience times of waiting on the Lord when it might feel like God has forgotten them. Yet in those times of waiting God often does some of his best work in preparing us, his children, for opportunities he has yet to reveal. I experienced that in the years after my seminary graduation. God didn’t call me to seminary until I was in my mid-40s but I was convinced God had called me to church ministry. In my final year of seminary, I had the joy of doing a pastoral internship at EFCC. Then for the next 15 years, the Lord took me from church ministry into chaplaincy in the military reserves, hospitals, and other venues providing spiritual and emotional care for hurting people. I could see God’s blessing upon my chaplaincy but it seemed like God had forgotten my hope for serving in church ministry. Finally, an opening came up in pastoral care at EFCC on staff. When Pastor Dennis Keating extended an offer he said, “You’ve worked with enough hurting people that we can use you now!” He was right. Those 15 years in various chaplaincy venues had equipped me for pastoral care ministry in ways that seminary never could. God used that time to increase my compassion, sensitivity, and ability to bring God’s grace to hurting hearts. As I now prepare to retire from EFCC staff it’s clear those years of “waiting” were truly needed for God to equip me for the next step in His perfect plan.

Truly, his yoke is easy and his burden is light if we stay in step with His plan!

Pastor Dave Korinek

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