Pastor Tom Eckblad has served as pastor for counseling at Bethlehem since 2003, and now he is moving on to other ministries.
We have benefited directly from the extraordinary gifts God gave to Pastor Tom, particularly in our darkest days with cancer in 2004.
He has known significant suffering in his life as well.
Pastor Sam wrote about Pastor Tom in this week’s Bethlehem Star, the weekly newsletter of Bethlehem Baptist Church. There were some great encouragements offered, particularly for someone like me who is tempted to grumble.
Here is an excerpt from Pastor Sam’s article:
In their fleeting years among us at Bethlehem, we have seen them (Pastor Tom and his wife, Jeanie) face such difficulties as a broken leg from a slip on Minnesota ice, Jeanie’s eye problems, Tom’s adventure with Parkinson’s, and a grandchild born with serious disadvantages. And yet I have never heard Tom complain or grumble.
I asked Tom about this.
“Sam, Christians are realists. We admit pain. We suffer. When a mother gives birth, she doesn’t pretend like it doesn’t hurt. And yet, we are not to grumble or complain. How can we admit that there is pain in this life, especially when we are facing it at the moment, and yet do so without murmuring against God?”
His answer was immediate and came right out of Romans 8: “We groan with all creation (verse 22) yet we know that God is working it all together for the good of those who love him (verse 28).” There is a way to groan without complaining, to suffer with thanksgiving.
Thank you, Tom and Jeanie! May God bless the next phase of your ministry, for his glory and for the joy of everyone you serve.