For the past month we have been walking through the sermon series “Recipes for Life” and it has been very potent and timely. But if I’m honest, it’s not something that is a new topic for many others or me. The trouble with a topical theme, such as this, is that it may be repetitive which may encourage you to feel the need to disengage and relax. Fortunately, the Bible is living and breathing life into us every time we read, whether we want it to or not.
Working on staff at a church usually offers more insight to systems, services, etc. and can come with dullness to the purpose of it all. It’s easy to get caught up in the preparation more than the purpose (give us your grace God!). Sort of like a mom/dad who spends time whipping up a meal for dinner but during the process has to taste and probe for flavor and readiness. This takes a toll on you and causes you to feel more like a waiter than a dinner guest.
The last couple of months have felt like this...joining the staff here at COTHA and leading ministry while trying to be led (I’ll save that for another blog). Wanting to be productive but yet a participant is a hard balance. I was excited to see how the Recipes for Life series played out since I was behind the scenes and gave my 2 cents on sermon direction but little did I know on how God would bring it to my door step!
In my last blog I posted how my wife became sick right before I left for Atlanta…this sickness carried on to the following week and led to a hospital visit and scare for my family. It was a trying time full of tears, frustration, why me, why us, prayer, doubt, anxiety, support, what if’s – You name it, we thought it. I don’t have any family here in town so when situations like this arise we usually depend on her family for support and even that’s limited.
What happened next for us felt like a marketing tool from heaven. Our children’s hearts were heavy, we were in doubt but then the word of God came. Romans 5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. And Isaiah 43: 1-2 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. On Monday of last week I went through these scriptures with my family and we prayed for healing, strength, patience, and God to be glorified. We all had a different resolve about the situation. Adding to this was the loving support of the church family with meals and prayers, which allowed us to turn our focus to the goodness of God and teach our children “they will know you are my disciples by how you love one another.” My wife’s family was able to witness the love poured out and I know God will use these ingredients to move on their hearts as much as he did ours.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! In his presence and with his people!