17 February 2010

Confirmation and an Unexpected Blessing

Have you ever been in a situation where God just confirmed that you are where you are SUPPOSED to be and that He is moving and present in your life? When the universe seems to keep saying to you, “yep, you are on the right path”? When all your conversations with people seem to revolve around similar themes and points? It is an amazing thing when it happens and lately, that has been happening more and more for me. I am so thankful for the experience and the reminders that I am in the care and arms of a loving God - and pray you are experiencing the same thing in your life.

I have been pretty forthcoming about my goal to read through the Bible this year. So far, I have been faithful with my daily readings. (Praise God!) Some days, it has been easier than others. Re-reading some of my favorite childhood Bible stories: piece of cake. Other times: Lawd hav mercy! Talk about boring! (although, should I really say anything coming from God is “boring”? Seems kinda disrespectful – and that is sooo NOT my desire, but … some of it, well, there is just no other word in my vocabulary.) I felt this way as I was reading about the very exact, precise, “this is the way I want it done” instructions God gave the children of Israel as they were building the sanctuary in the wilderness. I mean really. Was it really that important that this peg be made of brass while another was made of gold? Or that the table for the showbread be on the right side of the courtyard and the candlesticks on the left? (or is it the other way around?) See what I mean? Tedious and what is the point? I was questioning all of this as I read through the chapters regarding the sanctuary earlier. Yesterday, it all was revealed to me in a way I never expected and wasn’t anticipating. But to explain what I mean by "the confirmation and the blessing", I have to go all around the mulberry bush, so bear with me.

A couple of weeks ago, our pastor announced a new way that we are going to handle the midweek prayer meeting at our church. In an effort to encourage people to attend prayer meeting just like we attend divine worship services on Sabbath, for the next couple of weeks, the church, as a whole, would be meeting in smaller groups within the homes of members as we revamped the prayer meeting service. The pastor encouraged us that midweek prayer service (a time to come aside and study, pray, and encourage each other half way through the week) was just as important a meeting in the church as coming together on Sabbath morning. Ok, I get that, but some of us (me, for example!) work an evening shift and cannot come to prayer meeting at 7:00p on Wednesdays. Fortunately, it is a blessing of my church that we have a “Power Hour” prayer meeting on Tuesday mornings at 11:00a. This service is primarily attended by our senior citizens who are unable to or do not like to drive at night. After discussing it with my mom, we made a decision that we were going to try to attend this service on a weekly basis. Mom used to attend regulary, but hadn't been in a while, but yesterday was my first time going and hanging out with the Jet Setters. Let me just say: what a blessing those old people were to me!

First of all, they greeted me like a rock star! I’m telling you – I have always been aware of the value of having friendships with the older members of my church, but yesterday, it was confirmed again. If you are ever going through something, let the Jet Setters know and those old people will PRAY FOR YOU! I cannot tell you how many times they have prayed me through some stuff. When I had surgery in 2004, almost every day, I got a phone call, card or visit from someone in the Jet Setters club. I appreciated it then, and have never forgotten it. And old folks are funny, y’all. Listening to their stories and life experiences has added a richness to my life and my Christian experience in ways I cannot explain. The wisdom they can share with you, if you will just sit down and listen to them: nothing can compare. If you don’t have an old person in your life, I encourage you to “adopt” one – your life will be all the richer for it.

Anyway, back to the Power Hour, the confirmation and the blessing. Guess what they were studying? Yep. The sanctuary. Unh huh. Yesterday was the closing study on the sanctuary. One of the local elders went through a PowerPoint presentation prepared by another one of the members. Those slides brought the whole “boring” subject to life. I always knew that the sanctuary service, with all the animal sacrifices and priestly duties, pointed to Christ, His sacrifice and His priestly duties as He intercedes before His Father on our behalf – but let me tell you: I gained new insight and wisdom about it yesterday and I just cannot tell it all! I wish I could share the PowerPoint presentation with all of you. I am working to get a copy of it and if I do, and you want it, just let me know. It will BLOW YOU AWAY! God is a God of order and NOTHING He does is happenstance. Everything He does has a meaning and purpose.

And guess what? That includes every little thing going on in your life and mine. Every blessing: there is a reason for it. I believe each blessing to you gives you an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else. (Pay it forward). Every trial: there is a reason for it. There is a lesson to be learned and then hopefully shared with someone else who may go or be going through the same or similar trial. Every hurt, triumph, loss, gain, smile or tear – again, there is a reason for it. I need to remember that - especially as I continue to read through the “boring” parts of the Bible.

Be blessed.

(c) 2010 Kristina E. Smith

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