I recently ran into an old friend and fellow-minister that I haven’t seen for a few years.  We didn’t have a lot of time to chat, but it was long enough to catch up on a few high points and “vital statistics” regarding our lives and our families.  Before we parted company he said, “Tim, I’m really glad that you’re back in the harness.”  He didn’t elaborate, but it wasn’t necessary for me to ask for a clarification of his point of reference.  I knew immediately that he was referring to the fact that I was serving in full-time ministry. 

“Back in the harness!”  

When I was at the lowest point of my life in the fall of 2008, I didn’t see returning to full-time ministry as a viable option for the future (see Back from the Brink).  I informed family and friends that I would be seeking another vocational direction in my life.  I would find a way to “make tents” and would serve the Lord through whatever means He provided.  That was the only reasonable outlook through the eyes of man.  God, however, could see a different path ahead.  Only He was capable of bringing about the kind of emotional and physical healing that I so desperately needed.  Only He could restore strength to my family.  Only He could open the door of opportunity that resulted in the leadership of the Broken Arrow church inviting me to join them in ministry two years ago.

While “back in the harness” is not an expression that I had previously considered, I’m grateful that it entered the mind of my yoke-fellow and that he shared it with me.  It caused me to do some reflection which resulted in grateful praise to our God of Second Chances. 

The harness of ministry feels good and feels right!

Perhaps a return to the “blogging harness” will be coming soon as well.