On July 13, 2016 in Peoria, IL something extraordinary happened. I witnessed years of work and dedication of a man who I highly respect, reap the harvest of faithfully serving his Lord and Savior. The Rev. Dr. Frank Beard was elected as one of our Bishops in the United Methodist Church. It is one of the greatest honors a servant leader can obtain.
Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” It is evident that God has blessed the Beard family and I truly believe that Bishop Beard will bring about great hope as he continues to be led by the Holy Spirit.
I am also reminded of the famous quote from Peter Parkers Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility” (Spider Man). Bishop Beard is going to need our continued prayers and support as he starts this great journey. The amount of change that is taking place in his life is astronomical.
Much like Bishop Beard when they announced that he was elected…I became overwhelmed. It is overwhelming to see such an accomplishment for someone who has worked as hard as he has. It is overwhelming to think about all the ministries that God is going to bless through his leadership. It is overwhelming for a younger associate pastor to think about how the dynamics of his current appointment are going to change
God is like that…overwhelming! When we think that we have lost hope God blesses us in ways that we could have never imagined. When we feel like our cup is empty God overflows it with God’s grace. At times we might be negatively overwhelmed and feel like there is too much going on and so on. Sure, there is some of that feeling as well but more so it is the overwhelming presence of the Spirit that is being felt.
I know that God has great plans for Bishop Beard and his Family. I know that God has great plans for the conference that Bishop Beard will be serving. I know that God has great plans for Castleton United Methodist Church and I know that God continues to have a plan for me within these moments of transition. It is easy to get bogged down with the feeling that there is too much going on but instead let us choose to be overwhelmed by God’s Grace and Spirit and continue to go out and “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
God’s speed Bishop Beard we are very proud of you,