Someone told me a story once of an office situation where one morning an employee hurriedly went to grab a cup of coffee. She looked in the cabinet under the coffee machine and there were no cups. In her frustration she started complaining, what no cups? Who would be dumb enough to make coffee without making sure there were cups first? Someone else who was behind her heard her complaining and softly said “step back and look up”. When she did, she saw a sign on the wall that said where the cups, sugar and creamer were. What a beautiful illustration of how we sometimes deal with aggravating situations in our lives. We try to handle them ourselves. We use our own wisdom to try to find the solution and we inevitably fail when all we had to do was step back and look up. Look up to the One who we can trust. Look up to the One who gives answers. Psalm 17:6 says:I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 38:15 says: I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.The Lord proclaims in Psalm 91:15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
So here we are as a search committee. We have names, we have resumes, and we have references but we don’t have the answers to some of the hardest questions. Is he humble? Will he be compassionate to this congregation? Does he have good character? It can get frustrating trying to find answers to questions like these even if we have all this information at our fingertips. Like the woman at the coffee machine, unsuccessfully searching for a cup, we need to hear the Soft Voice that instructs us to take pause, step back and look up.