When God takes over
September 5, 2017 / By The Rev. Gary Kubitz, First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville
Editor's Note: For the Summer 2017 issue of the Advocate, we asked members across the UNY Conference to share stories of when they have had to trust that God is enough. Rev. Gary Kubitz, of the First United Methodist Church of Voorheesville, responded with a story. If you have a story of when you had to trust that God is enough, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During my first year in ministry, serving two small congregations, I found myself in the midst of an overwhelming situation. On the day of the Memorial Day parade, a young boy who was a part of my congregation was tragically killed in a freak accident during the parade. There are things that I saw that morning that will never leave my heart and mind. The ensuing week was one of the most difficult times of my ministry...and of my life.
The evening leading up to the funeral service was long. I didn't sleep...I tried to find the right words to speak to the large group that would gather the next day, only to keep stumbling over my emotions. The reality was that I didn't have the right words - that there were no words.
As I was greeting people as they entered the sanctuary for the service the next day, one of the members of my congregation stopped and asked me how I was doing. I looked at her and said, "I don't have the words." She squeezed my hand, smiled reassuringly, and continued on into the sanctuary. As the hymn was being sung between the scripture readings, I said a silent prayer, more of a desperate plea, "God, I can't do this—it's your turn."
I don't remember much of what I said during the message portion of that service and what I do recall is more from people recounting bits and pieces of it to me since that time. At the conclusion of the service, as those who had gathered together were leaving, the woman who had stopped and greeted me before the service stopped once again, gave me a hug, and said, "Those were the right words."
In my weakest and most desperate moment of ministry, I learned what may be the most valuable lesson that I will ever learn as a pastor - God is enough. God will supply the words, the strength, and the Spirit to carry us through the most trying times. The truth is that God is not only enough, but that there is more love, grace, and mercy in God than there is sin and brokenness in the world. God is enough...Amen...God is enough.