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Summary: Even as God took David from the pit of despair, so can he stand us on solid ground.

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GETTING OUT OF THE PITS

text: Psalm 40:1-3

A. Oh, how WEARINESS effects us at times.

ILLUSTRATION:

I can’t explain how you know for sure. I guess you have to be a preacher to understand. There’s this inner-feeling that a preacher gets when he knows that he’s DONE all that he can for a particular congregation or when he’s no longer EFFECTIVE or no longer RESPECTED by the membership. When this occurs, it’s time to MOVE ON!

I had been preaching at my very first church in a small town in south Texas for 3½ years when I had such a feeling. My relationship with two of the elders became very STRAINED, making my ministry UNBEARABLE. I knew deep down that it was time to LEAVE. On occasions, ministers, although it is not what they want and it’s certainly not for the BEST, have to SECRETLY make inquiries into another WORK. Some elderships have been known to FIRE their MINISTERS on the spot once it is learned that they want to MOVE. This was a church known for FIRING PREACHERS. So I felt that it was necessary to SECRETLY look for another congregation.

I was invited to PREACH and INTERVIEW at a church in Oklahoma. I took my VACATION time, and my family and I went up to look at the work. After preaching that Sunday I drove to Oklahoma City to visit my sister. While there, I got a call from one of the elders of that congregation to inform me that it was between me and another preacher. But before they could make a decision, they wanted to me to come and preach the next Sunday. Well, I was supposed to be back in my home congregation by then. As much as I dreaded it, I had to call one of my elders to tell him that I was looking at another work in Oklahoma and needed that Sunday off. He agreed, but wasn’t very HAPPY.

I brought only two SERMONS with me, and had already presented them to this congregation the Sunday before. I had only two days to write two new sermons. They HIRED the other guy. We drove to my parents’ house in Altus, Oklahoma to spend the night. The next day, Brenda and I loaded up the CAR preparing for the 8 hour drive back home.

By this time I was so WEARY! The SECRECY, the HOURS and HOURS of DRIVING, the STRESS of trying out for a new WORK, the WORRY of finally telling one of my ELDERS of my intentions of leaving, the PRESSURE of writing two SERMONS in such a short time, the DREAD of returning home not knowing if I still had a JOB or if my FURNITURE might be MOVED out of the preacher’s home onto the driveway, had all gotten the BEST of me.

After my wife, the kids, and I got settled in the car, I started the engine, put the car in GEAR, and just sat there for a moment with my foot on the BRAKE. Then, all of a sudden, I started to CRY. I was so EMBARRASSED. I didn’t want my daughters to see my CRY, so I tried to stop but couldn’t CONTROL myself. I was EMOTIONALLY and SPIRITUALLY DRAINED!

COMMENT:

Have you ever experienced anything like that? Have you ever been so WEARY of the pressures and demands and burdens that are placed on you that you simply can’t take it anymore!


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