We have just finished a series of special meetings at our church. Every year our pastor invites many pastors from all over the nation, to join our church for what we call the "April meeting" This is a time when many preachers and their families come to our church to minister and to be ministered to. We have about eight vignette sermons each day. The house is packed, hearts are stirred and many of us are changed a little by the Spirit of God during this time. At our church, we sit under strong exhortation, encouragement and Biblical education 3 times per week, so we are accustomed to getting excellent preaching and teaching. During the April meeting, though, it seems that we come prepared for a "tune up".
The pastors that come to preach seem to have distilled their entire year into a 30 minute pearl of a sermon. They are at their best and we are at our most receptive. They pour out, we drink in. Every heart is in a place to be very well blessed if they want to. It is our goal as a church to bless the preachers and their families. We try to pamper them a bit and give them an environment of loving acceptance and diligent service. It always turns out though that we receive the greater blessing.
This year I learned a lot. Mainly, I was reminded that God loves me and has a plan. He is executing His plan moment by moment. Every difficulty, trial, blessing and experience has been carefully sifted through His fingers before it gets to me. If I find it unpleasant or difficult, I need only to keep glorifying Him in it and on the other end of it or maybe in the middle of it, I will become aligned with the will of my loving Father. If I learn that everything God allows in my life is a blessing, regardless of how the world or even my emotions see it, I will be among all people most blessed.
God is good. He loves us and he has a plan and a path that no one else can complete except us. I am so excited to live for Him and with Him in this moment of history. I am also so very grateful that I have the privilege of being a member of an active and vibrant church.