Wednesday, August 13, 2008

He Made Time For Me

One of my absolute favorite Jesus stories from the Gospels occurs right at the beginning of John’s account… John the Baptist had been telling his followers that Someone was coming who was greater than he, and when Jesus finally showed up at the Jordan one day, some of John’s guys started to follow Him. They were seekers; interested in spiritual things… searching for God, looking for eternal life and wanting righteousness. They started walking behind Jesus. He realized He was being followed, so He turned around and asked these guys what they wanted. They asked where Jesus was staying… basically inviting themselves into His day. Jesus didn’t dodge them or blow them off. He looked at them and said, “Come and see.” Then follows one of my favorite verses: “So they went and saw where He was staying, and spent that day with Him. It was about the tenth hour.”

I love that verse so much because John, who wrote the Gospel, was one of those two guys following Jesus around like some kind of star struck tourist. The fact that he told us what time it was is very significant… When people have an important story to tell you, they always include details as a way to emphasize that this isn’t just another thing that happened… this is something they’ll never forget. By mentioning the time of day, John is basically saying to us, “I’ll never forget the day Jesus made time for me… it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon.”

I bring this up because I have a similar story that I’ll never forget. I was in high school and was troubled, confused and seeking like crazy. I had a lot of teenage drama all mixed up with a bunch of theological confusion and I felt like no one in my church really wanted to listen to me. A friend told me to call this one pastor in town who wasn’t even my pastor. Well, I did and I’ll never forget the next day. He asked if he could meet me for lunch, so the next day, we ate sandwiches his wife made for us on some park benches and he just listened to me unload my emotional and spiritual baggage for a long time. Then he caringly gave me this seemingly tender advice that wound up cutting right to the heart of my problem.

I was just a random kid with a bunch of petty and trivial problems who didn’t even go to his church, and yet he made time for me. I’ll never forget that. It was about 12 o’clock…

Not that I’m saying this guy was Jesus or anything like that, but he loved me like Jesus and he showed me who Jesus is, and who Jesus needed to be in my life. Nowadays, he is my pastor, and he earned it. I am writing all this because he just left for Spain and I already miss him. I am writing this because I want to say to the rest of the folks in our little church that God has given us a treasure in Tommy. He is the kind of guy who makes time for people. He’s the kind of guy who gently speaks loving truth into the midst of confusion and hurt. He’s the kind of guy who loves like Jesus, and I’ll never forget the day I met him.

Does anyone else have a good story about Tom Job? Leave your story as a comment!


Laura Ashley said...

I will never forget when Tom and Tina moved across the street from my family when they first moved back from Italy. My mom and Tom took turns taking Emily and I to JMS. Tom ministered to me everyday while I rode in his car to school (he may not have realized it, but he did). Eventually we started visiting CCC at the Little Theatre in Jefferson Middle. I treasure the Sundays we spent at CCC because Tom's preaching impacted my faith so much. I will never forget the time he invested in me and how much my faith grew. I love Tom Job like a father! He doesn't even realize how much he has impacted my life and my faith.

Amy said...

The first time I ever remember seeing Tom was at a wedding. Well, I really couldn't see him because the bride and groom were so much taller than him, but I could definitely hear him. What he talk/preached about was so amazing I had never heard that kind of message at a wedding even my own. Even from the first moment that my family and I started attending CCC he has made us feel like part of the church family. He is like a "rock star" to my boys and we all just love him so much.

Katey said...

golllee where does one start?
what i LOVE about Tommy is that he 'makes time' for ANYone, he speaks the truth in Love, and that he has an undeniable love for Christ.
most of my 'theology' was taught to me at a young age, and Tommy has gracefully and with humility retaught and given me unshakeable TRUTHS of Christ to hold on to.
I love that he uses his gifts of understanding the Word to bless the church and i am blessed to hear it!
Tommy has a commitment to fleshing out the love of Christ and is what i want to be more like. ;)
just the other day i was encouraging some friends saying "hey, you should go to the triple c website and listen to Tommy's sermons. I swear he would have had his own book in the Bible had he lived with Christ 2000 years ago!!!".. hehe
love you Tom and TINA!!!!

nancy said...

I have done a lot of church in my years. I've heard pastors that weekly tell me how much I fall short of doing what I should be doing, I've heard other pastors telling me how superior we Christains are compared to all those sinners out there,and I've listened to a plethora of cranky stuff. Then, I arrived at CCC where consistently Tom loves God, shows me His grace and mercy, speaks truth, and encourages me to grow in Christ without feeling hopeless or superior. Not sure how he and His Father have worked out that balance, but I really really need it each week in my life. Thanks Tom.

Bill and Maria Reazer said...

dang - i never got the chance to leave the story about panera!

Bill and Maria Reazer said...

Dang! I forgot to the leave the story about panera!

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