Griffin’s journey is like a map for Chapel listeners
By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau
Dr. Tim Griffin, Grand Canyon University’s pastor and dean of students, knows what it’s like when life turns abruptly from smooth to bumpy.
“Not everything goes the way we want in life. Life is made up of experiences we do not expect to happen,” he said while speaking Monday at Chapel in GCU Arena.
“Sometimes blessings come from the undesired and difficult experiences.”
As proof, Griffin shared an onslaught of personal struggles he experienced as a young pastor.
Griffin and his wife were enjoying their ministry and young family when they bought their first home in Huntington Beach, Calif.
In surfer lingo, they were “stoked.” Life seemed to be falling in place.
That was until his father died, followed by his mother-in-law a few months later. Shortly afterward, Griffin went to the doctor with a sore throat and learned he had cancer.
After surgery and treatment, his family decided it was time for a change. The Griffins moved to Colorado Springs and a new ministry, placing a trusted friend in charge of collecting rent and paying the mortgage on their Huntington Beach house.
Instead, their friend stole the rent money and the Griffins lost their home.
The setbacks for GCU students might be different, but Griffin urged those facing equally tough times to focus on an important, overarching goal — eternity with God.
“When we follow Jesus, the sacrifices of today will not compare with the glories of tomorrow,” he said. Problems are momentary, and because “one day God will wrap his arms around us, do not be distracted and frustrated with difficulties.”
As further guidance, Griffin quoted Jesus as he was facing arrest and death in Matthew 26:36-46:
“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.
“He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground praying. ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.’ ”
Griffin also talked about taking lessons learned in the fall semester into the spring, especially from broken relationships with roommates, classmates, suitemates and those “hope-to-be mates.”
Always keep in mind that “not everything goes the way we want it to go” and those who follow Jesus are likely to experience a “wrestling match with your soul” during difficult times,” he said.
Problems pass, but “eternity is forever. Keep your eyes on eternal goals while making the most of the GCU experience. Join clubs, volunteer, play intermural sports, make friends and study.
“Do all the things that make college what it should be.”
● For a replay of Griffin’s talk, click here.
● Next Monday’s Chapel speaker will be Luke Simmons of Redemption Church.
Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.