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Pastors' Wives Retreat

Pastors' Wives Resource site provided by the Sunday School Discipleship Ministries International, a ministry of the Church of the Nazarene. We want to hear about your experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and how God’s Word and prayer supported and sustained you in the joys and challenges of parsonage life.

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Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. Ps 147:5

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We want to hear about your experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and how God’s Word and prayer supported and sustained you in the joys and challenges of parsonage life.

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PoWeR— the Pastors' Wives Resources website provides resources for the parsonage family. It is also a place where you will find a common bond with those who constantly face the joy and challenges of parsonage life…read more

Turning Despair into Delight PDF Print E-mail

Before we begin today’s discussion, turn with me to John’s Gospel, Chapter 5. Read verse 1 through 10a.This is a story about a man that during his entire adult life (and possibly from adolescence onward), was physically challenged. No doubt he felt hopeless. But let’s start at the beginning.

Bethesda was no ordinary public pool. It was thought to have healing powers through a subterranean stream that caused bubbles to rise to the surface from time to time. Sick people gathered at poolside every day. A legend developed about the bubbling waters in the pool. It was believed that the first one into the pool when bubbles boil to the surface would be cured of whatever ailment he had. It may have worked for some people, but not for this guy. He never made it in first. There was no one to assist him. He was a hopeless cripple. He had been ill for thirty-eight years (13,832 days).  Every day he lived was like the previous day. His situation seemed hopeless. He believed he had no other option in life but to spend his days at the pool.

Then a stranger came by one day. This stranger—Jesus—took the initiative and asked the man a question. The stranger spoke with authority. The crippled man believed and was healed. That’s the story.

There are at least three lessons to be learned from this miracle.

• Jesus always meets you at the point of your need. Where you are. For this man, it was the pool at Bethesda. Jesus could have said, “Meet me later at the synagogue.” But that was not the plan.
• Jesus always cuts through your excuses to get to your real need. Jesus asked, “Would you like to get well?” And the man answered, “I have no one to help me into the water.” Right question; wrong answer. Remember, not everyone who is trapped in a difficult situation wants things to change.  Consider this: the man was at the pool every day of his adult life.  If he were well, he would have to leave the pool, take on responsibilities, and maybe even get a job!
• Jesus always gives clear directions. He is never ambiguous. He puts His finger directly where you are hurting. He said to the man, “Get up. Pick up. Leave this place.” The point? When he gives you a command, He enables you to do it. Alexander MacLaren said, “When He commands, He bestows!” Jesus won’t ask you to do something and then abandon you to fight your battles alone.

Where am I going with this?  The path to healing is littered with obstacles. Here are some you may be facing: repeated failures…other people…the church…your theology…your children…guilt…inherited traits…hurt feelings, and on and on. Jesus won’t remove the obstacles, but he will point the way.

Think about this: What attitude, or habit, or memory, or recurring guilt robs you of the joy God wants you to experience? What keeps you from believing God to correct a bad situation in your life? How often have you asked, down deep, one or more of the following questions?

  • “Does God love me enough to look past my faults?”
  • "Is God really able to help me in this situation?”
  • “Can I risk believing Him?”
  • “What will people say if I obey Him and make a fool of myself?”
  • “What if I try to do what He asks and I fail?”

Consider this: If God really loves you, is it reasonable to believe that he takes pleasure in your failures?

Think about these words from this chorus by Bill and Gloria Gaither:

Something beautiful, something good.
All my confusion He understood.
All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife,
But He made something beautiful out of my life.

Posted with permission from Dr. Tom Barnard. You have just read Tuesday Morning for May 31, 2011. To subscribe to this free publication, send your name and email address to Dr.Tom Barnard at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Prior TMs may be accessed at either www.snu@edu, or

A note to Pastors' husbands –  

We welcome pastors’ husbands to visit this page and to provide insights into the needs and challenges you face. Let us know how we can minister to you and assist as you fulfill your supportive roles. Send your comments and suggestions to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Until then, we welcome you to join the discussions and provide resources on this site...Read More

Prayer support –

Each weekday, Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) meet for prayer. All requests will be presented to the staff, except those identified as confidential. We’ll pray for you, asking God to work and to extend grace and mercy...Read More

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