Like anyone who has been a pastor, there were times throughout my thirty-plus years of pastoral ministry when it felt like I couldn’t possibly get more discouraged and broken….only to find out I could. But God never deserted me, though I must often have gotten on his last nerve. And he brought me through every dark valley…but not without scars.
But as in nature, so in life: there is a beauty in broken things. Including broken pastors and broken people. There is a definite beauty in things that are not quite symmetrical, not even, not perfect, not all “put together” and “buttoned down.”
I sometimes meet folks in my travels that seem to have it “all together.” Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But there also often seems to be something missing. Maybe they haven’t yet been broken and melted and poured out in the Master’s hands, to be used in such a way that all the glory goes to God (2 Corinthians 4:7).
It is a mystery. But God helping me, I will trust God to break me…and keep breaking me, that he might use me more, use me again, maybe even use me more effectively, according to his will. I wish the breaking could be all done, but I suspect not.
My all is in the master’s hands For him to bless and break; Beyond the brook his winepress stands And thence my way I take, Resolved the whole of love’s demands To give, for his dear sake (General Albert Orsborn).
Bob Hostetler is a literary agent, an award-winning writer, editor, pastor, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His thirty books, which include The Bone Box and American Idols (The Worship of the American Dream), have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling Right from Wrong (What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices), and the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. Bob is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. Bob was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by the Salvation Army and earned degrees in English Bible from Cincinnati Christian University and English Communications from Bloomfield College. In 2000, Bob (with his wife, Robin) helped to co-found Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. They have two children and four grandchildren. He has been a disc jockey, pastor, magazine editor, freelance book editor, and (with Robin) a foster parent to ten boys (though not all at once). They live in Hamilton, Ohio. You can follow Bob at @bobhoss.