Today, Bruce and I attended the ordination of my good friend, Matt Every. He pastors a small church in Mount Pleasant. We have been friends, colleagues and breakfast buddies at Brite for several years. His service was well attended by clergy, family and friends. It was a wonderful service and I am so proud and excited for this man. The ministry of Jesus Christ and the Church will be continually blessed by Matt and the gifts and graces he brings to the pulpit and the community of faith. Way to go Matt!
And…Hot off the presses…our niece Kendall (Ken and Sheena’s oldest daughter) is engaged to a young man named Matt! Just announced a few minutes ago. We are all so excited and proud for her and Matt.
Prayer: Lord of understanding, I know it has taken me a long time to understand what sacrifice means. Today I finally understand. Even though it is hard, the answer is always the same, “call upon the Lord.” Thank you for Your unfailing love when I am troubled and on the edge of anger or heartbreak. Thank You for Your love that is so great that Your Word tells us to be thankful for trials and offer them up as thanksgiving. Lord, I do not like my troubles, but if You are to reign sovereign over them then I must offer them as thanksgiving and call upon Your name. When I call upon Your name You speak softly to my hurting soul where You reside and I find hope. I love You Lord. In Your mercy, hear this prayer. Amen.
“I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”
Psalm 116: 17
How difficult is it to offer our troubles to God with thanksgiving? It is tough and seemingly contradictory to what we should do. Why would I thank God for something tough or really awful? But the psalmist says to offer up the “sacrifice of thanksgiving and then call upon the name of the Lord.” What we sacrifice is our anger, our complaining and the indulgent temptation of thinking that God is treating us unfairly or is ignoring our plight. When we offer these things up to sacrifice then we make all of this space for God to come in to heal, repair and comfort our broken hearts. When we offer the sacrifice of whatever our problem or situation is to God as thanksgiving then in the depths of our souls we invite God to reign sovereign over us and our situation by calling upon His name.
Thanking God for our problems is kind of strange at first. But if we persistently pray in faith using thankful words then it will change our hearts and find that God’s unfailing love will overshadow our problems and difficulties. I am at the same place as many of you and I need to practice, practice, practice…
Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude and get some sleep casting our cares upon the Lord because God is up all night anyway. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene.
I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.