Wednesday, May 14th at 6:15 a.m… I pulled out of my driveway for the last time and started the 10 hour trek to South Florida. With memories of the previous night’s party with my closest friends fresh in my mind, the first few hours of the drive were a blur. Leaving my home of 24 years was tougher than I expected but I was trying to move past it before I crossed the Florida line. All was going well and I was actually on pace to arrive at my new home an hour ahead of schedule. That is, until I hit the bustling small town of Jasper, Florida. If you’ve ever seen The Andy Griffith Show, imagine Mayberry, except half the size and less teeth in the people who live there.
I was traveling down I-75 south, riding on cruising control when all of a sudden, cruise control snaps off, the speedometer drops to 0 mph, the RPM’s rev to around 4,000, and the check engine light comes on. I knew what it was as soon as it happened, but I talked myself into thinking it was just a minor issue. A phone call to AAA and a tow truck ride to one of the more sketchy mechanic shops I’ve seen later… and my fear became reality. A burnt transmission. Being in the middle of nowhere meant that nothing was going to be done on the cheap or fast, so I had to revert to a better option to get my car fixed and down to South Florida. Another call to AAA and another tow truck ride later, I find myself in Gainesville, FL at a Honda dealership where the repairs can be done right and fairly quick. I still had to get to South Florida that evening though, so a rental car was the next option to continue what had become a long and tiring journey.
After a few hiccups at Enterprise, I get in my rental car (which is equivalent to a golf cart) and make the 4 hour trip to South Florida. At this point, I’m tired, frustrated, and wondering why the heck this is happening (yes, it’s ok for a follower of Christ to doubt). When I was back in Jasper, I had the very brief thought of just going back home, but God quickly confirmed that I was in fact doing the right thing and following in obedience. I once heard it said that if the devil isn’t attacking your life, then that’s when the worry should begin, because you are no threat to what he is wanting to accomplish with the short time he has left.
During the ride from Gainesville to South Florida, the excitement of what was ahead began to overflow in my heart. If this massive of an obstacle happened 4 hours into my first day of following God to the unknown, then Satan must have an idea of what God is going to accomplish in my time here. I kept going back to John 16:33 when Jesus is reminding the disciples of who He is, where He comes from, and what He is going to accomplish with His ministry. He ends the discourse by saying, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
The significant aspect of this verse is the first part. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.” When our focus and attention is fixated upon who Christ is, what He did for us, and what He is currently doing in us, peace overcomes any doubt or fear. In fact, when you read the Gospels, Jesus frequently mentions His desire for His children to discover the peace and life that is found in Him. It’s an incredible truth and is what makes the Gospel so powerful and important in the Christian life.
Fast forward a few days and life in South Florida has been reminder after reminder of why God called me here. The church family at the Anchor Church is the family I never knew I had. The wide variety of cultures represented here are intriguing and interesting as I learn how to engage the people in conversations about the Gospel. The weather is perfect and the food is great (selfish pleasure). God has already opened doors to share the Gospel with people I have come into contact with. And I am in way over my head and my dependence on God to show up is at an all time high.
If you’ve made it this far, here are a few things to be praying for:
- The Anchor Church college city group launch.
- Ministry opportunities at Nova Southeastern University.
- Courage to share the Gospel with those I come into contact with.
- A man named Ernie I met in a Crossfit gym and was able to share the Gospel with. He plans to attend The Anchor in 2 weeks.
- Personal holiness as God continues to grow and stretch me in ministry.
- A larger meeting space for The Anchor Church.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support!