This past fall, Jon and I had the privilege of hearing Larry Osborne share some insights with a small room of pastors from large churches.
Jon and I do not pastor a large church. We launched almost a year ago, and we are excited every time we have anywhere close to 100 people on a Sunday. Yet, there we sat five feet away from Larry Osborne, surrounded by those who had large, thriving ministries.
After the presentation I sat down across from Larry and asked him a question specific to our church.
The next day we had lunch with our Network Superintendent (my father-in-law), another pastoring couple, and Larry Osborne. He talked about his awesome family, his ministry, and his books; he answered our questions; and he listened to us talk about our families and churches. He sat with us and treated us as people that were significant.
Just the afternoon before, we had a similar experience with Scott Wilson. Eating lunch with Scott felt very much like eating lunch with family- he is bizarrely similar in his personality and mannerisms to my brother Will. I had a blast hanging out with him.
When the weekend ended, it hit me. Each of these men is kind of a big deal. I have never been one to put leadership on a pedestal because people are people no matter what positions they might hold. That is why it had not occurred to me until it was over that I had experienced a great privilege.
I got to ask a couple of the most influential church leaders questions about leadership. I had no credentials that made me worth their attention or time, yet they allowed me to be close. They shared meals and life with me. They listened to me talk about my kids, they told stories about their families and communities. They were present and available.
Reflecting on the privilege I experienced that weekend caused me to understand just a little more about how low God stoops to be with us. What an honor it is to be in a close relationship with God.
The creator of the universe is not like Scott Wilson or Larry Osborne. They are regular people in positions of great influence. God is outside of time, space, and comprehension. He is the great I am. He is the beginning and the end. He is the maker of heaven and earth…
You get the point, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I forget, the way I forgot about Larry and Scott’s positions because they were just available and willing to form relationship.
I forget that the God I have one hundred percent access to is the same God that deserves awe, fear, respect, honor, praise, and so much more. I forget how low he made himself so that I can be close.
What a privilege it is to sit in God’s presence and ask him questions about the direction of the church he has entrusted us to lead. What a privilege it is to come to him and tell him about the things that weigh heavy on my heart. What a privilege it is to thank him for the blessings of my home, my children, my husband, and so much more. What a privilege.
I am amazed and grateful that God does not remain distant or inaccessible. I am grateful that his presence is so available that I am able to forget how incredibly privileged I am to be close to him. However, I never want to forget who he is. I never want to take his presence for granted. I want to be close, but I also want to give God the honor he deserves.
If you too need to be reminded of the amazing nature of a God that is so far beyond us but makes himself closer than close, here is a link to 20 verses. When read together, these verses demonstrate the contrast of God’s accessibility and his tremendous and powerful nature that is beyond even our imaginations.
Intimate and powerful.
I am in awe.