When Blessings End

“No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him …” 1 Corinthians 2:9

I just received word from my friend and prayer sister, Karen, that her church will be leaving the AFLC for a different Lutheran denomination.  This means that after October, she will not be managing the prayer partner program I have been part of for a number of years.  Karen and some of the other ladies I have met through the program have been an inspiration and a blessing in my life.  I feel sad that it is ending.  I know we will stay in touch, but things won’t be exactly the same.

This has caused me to reflect on other times in my life when something that has really blessed me has come to an end.  My husband and I joined a church when we were a young married couple and stayed there for over twenty years.  It is the place where I felt I truly grew up and matured as a Christian.  I made wonderful friends and learned so much about how to lead a Christian life.  When Terry became a Pastor, we had to leave that safe and nurturing home.  I was sad then, also.

At one point in my life, I joined a neighborhood Bible Study.  I met women we lived nearby but belonged to different denominations.  The woman who led it was a more mature Christian than I was then.  At the time I had young children, a job and found myself like Martha, “distracted and worried about many things.”  A wonderful sense of peace would descend on me when I walked in her door each week.  I so needed that.  Of course, in time, people moved, schedules changed, and the study could not continue.

This reverie is leading me around to the realization that yes, blessings end;  but God still has good things in store.  He knows what we need as individuals and churches, and in His perfect timing, we will receive them. Each time I have “lost” a blessing, God has replaced it with something else new and challenging. So while we can be sad when things change, we need to look forward to the next blessing God has prepared for us.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22-23

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Step by Step

“God cares for you intimately, but is never thinking only of you.  His plans are always bigger than us, and that is for our ultimate good.”

From “Climbing with Abraham” by David Ramos

A few days ago, I read the quote above in a devotional I’m using.  It went on to say how Abraham, at the end of his life, had only one legitimate heir and a burial plot in the land where God had taken him.  He didn’t see the fulfillment of the promises God had made to him.  He never knew that one of his physical descendants would be Jesus and his spiritual descendants, the Church.

Then I went to a Gideon breakfast with my husband.  A man spoke about how he found a Gideon Bible in what he described as “a roach motel.”  In two years he had read the entire Bible.  He became a Christian, then a pastor.  He started a new church and now that congregation sponsors missionaries in 6 countries.  The Gideon who placed the Bible will probably never meet him.

Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on a church door.  He expected to open a dialog that would lead to some reforms in the Catholic church.  He had no idea it would lead to new denominations, printing and translation of the  Bible into numerous languages, an increase in public education, etc..

We can only follow God’s leading one step at a time.  We are “living stones” in God’s plan, but we will only see a small piece of our part.  Maybe we’ll even think we have failed to accomplish anything. Lucky for us, we’re not in charge.  If we’re faithful, God will use us in ways we can’t even imagine.

So, if you’re discouraged, take heart. You’re part of God’s plan, just like Abraham, Martin Luther, and the Gideons.  He loves you and so do I!