Posts Tagged ‘quilt’

Often when we quote Romans 8:28 (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.) we sit back waiting for God to miraculously change our circumstance or at least show us the purpose of our current crisis.

This week I got a lesson in how we might end up being one of the ‘things’ that work for  good and not the direct recipient of the result. (You mean it’s not all about me?)

Thursday a friend came to share with me how bad stuff has just been piling up on her lately.  She happens to be someone who has just recommitted her life to Christ and is on fire and enthusiastic, wanting to learn more, do more, and feel more in her Christian walk.  I talked to her about being “under attack” and about how satan is not happy with her new direction. She left firm in her resolve to press on.

Friday I met with my worship team to go over the music for Sunday and explained to them that I was not feeling at peace with my choices and I didn’t know why.  So we practiced, worked out all the kinks and left feeling prepared for the service.

Sunday morning during my quiet time God spoke to me about changing the worship set.  That’s a risky thing to do at the last minute when the team has already practiced.  But I felt the strong urging that someone needed encouragement in the area of forgiveness and the vastness of God’s love.  So I made the change, apologizing to my team who I am happy to say is very flexible.

The Pastor’s message Sunday was inspiring and encouraging. It focused on Peter, who after a failed night of fishing, was told by Jesus to go fish again. He was discouraged, exhausted and, as a seasoned fisherman, sure that lowering the net again was futile. He said something like “Been there, done that, Jesus.” (My very loose translation.)  But, at Christ’s urging, he did it and the result of his obedience was amazing. A great lesson in persevering even when things seem hopeless.

Following the service three things happened and I realized what a privilege it is to be a “thing” in the hands of God.

1)     The friend who was under attack came to share with me a brand new crisis, heavier than all the rest.  Of course, the crisis wasn’t a good thing, but her reaction to it was. She had been so touched by the entire service and was encouraged to press on and to keep her heart clear of bitterness and anger. If you knew her situation you would realize how that kind of attitude in the midst of this particular crisis is a miracle.

2)    A second member of the congregation came to me after the service to share how the music choices that morning were right on and how her son leaned over to her and admitted the message in the music was for him and the sermon that followed was just what he needed to move forward.

3)    At a church board meeting Sunday evening I received two amazingly uplifting offerings of encouragement, letting me know that my ministry was very much appreciated and recognized. To really understand the impact you would have to know that I have recently emerged from a season of great oppression when it came to my ministry, one in which I was stifled and at times even criticized for the same things I received encouragement for at that meeting. And the example used in the encouraging comments was the service earlier that day.

I got to be a “thing” working together with a sensitive, sincere, gifted Pastor, a scattering of hurting people, and a beautiful lesson about the bits and pieces of what we say and do under Christ’s direction.

What a privilege to think that God uses scraps of humanity like me to touch the lives of scraps of humanity like you who will in turn touch the lives of scraps of humanity in places we don’t even know, forming the gorgeous quilt of God’s people.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:10-11

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