· Ministry to Men, Leadership Development, Church Renewal

Let God lead and let God hold

By Gil Hanke

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

Psalm 139: 7-10 NKJV

On a recent flight from New Orleans to Nashville, I got a window seat. As we took off that morning, the clouds were low, and in one direction clouds and fog hugged the ground and water below. I could see the beginning of the bridge, known as the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which is the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. Although the bridge is nearly 24 miles long, all that was visible that morning was a few hundred yards; the rest was buried in fog. I could see the beginning but not the final destination.

Most of the trips I take are by car, I have study Google Maps and use the GPS on my phone for guidance. On trips that require air travel, I know where I am staying and usually have a good idea of how to get from the airport to the hotel. But some of our journeys lead us into places, into opportunities, into challenges that are not expressly clear when we begin. Like that bridge, we know we are going in the right direction, but the end is not clear or visible. For example, an unplanned conversation, leads to meeting a new person, who invites me to a meeting which leads to a new expression of ministry. That was my introduction to the amazing work being done by the YWCA in domestic violence. If I had missed that meeting or gone to a seat in another part of the room; that connection would not have been made. Even there Your hand shall lead me.

One of the axioms of business is to begin with the end mind. But sometimes we are called only to be faithful and rely on God to determine the final outcome. This year the church I attend is going to go door to door in our neighborhood and invite people to church. We are investing in improved signage at the church. We could repeat the line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If they build it, they will come.” They key here is you have to do something first, step out in faith and see what God has in store for you. We often over plan what the outcome has to look like, rather than trusting God is leading us to outcome God desires and has already planned.

And, your right hand shall hold me.

Still striving,

Gil Hanke, general secretary

General Commission on United Methodist Men




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