Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Have you been enjoying Fall? All seasons are wonderful in my estimation, and Fall offers unique blessing. The association with harvest, fruitfulness, completion, and resplendent colors in the world stir an appreciation for the marvel and mystery of God’s creation.
Fall may also serve to point the way forward for us. While harvest is progressing, plans and preparations for next year, and beyond are underway. Education is being imparted that brings growth and development that is enlightening today while building steps toward future growth and learning.
While talk of new normal and getting back to the familiar are part of our grieving and processing ongoing change, multiplied by this pandemic; we know we are not able to go back. A recent conversation which included a reference to the drought of 1988 heightened the awareness of needing to look for ways to move forward, even as we celebrate learning from the past.
What is most clear is our absolute need for our Savior!
See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:10-14
We have a wonderful opportunity for repentance: recognizing and confessing our normal and familiar ways of prioritizing our preferences in life. We need our Savior to lead us to minister to the least, lost, and lonely. We rejoice, it is not the will of God the Father that one of these should perish! We need the mysterious and marvelous power of God in ministry! We have great privilege to go to our Father in prayer. The following account witnesses to God’s willingness to make a way forward! Norman Harrison in His in a Life of Prayer tells how Charles Inglis learned from a devout and godly captain of an experience which he had with George Muller of Bristol. It seems they had encountered a very dense fog. Because of it the captain had remained on the bridge continuously for twenty-four hours, when Mr. Muller came to him and said, “Captain, I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.” When informed that it was impossible, he replied: “Very well. If the ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chartroom and pray.” The captain continues the story: “I looked at that man of God and thought to myself, What lunatic asylum could that man have come from. I never heard such a thing as this. ‘Mr. Muller,’ I said, ‘do you know how dense this fog is?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.’ He knelt down and prayed one of those simple prayers, and when he finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray. ‘Firstly,’ he said, ‘because you do not believe God will, and secondly, I believe God has, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.’ I looked at him, and George Muller said, ‘Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get an audience with the King. Get up and open the door, and you will find that the fog has gone.’ I got up and the fog was indeed gone. George Muller was in Quebec Saturday afternoon for his engagement.”
–From I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes by Glenn Clark
The harvest is plentiful. Folks continue to be harassed and helpless, and we know the Good Shepherd. We cannot do everything the same way, but the Lord and Savior is the same, yesterday, today, and forever; to whom we pray and seek guidance as we answer his call to go into the harvest.
God our Heavenly Father knows how to make the way forward in ministry as we seek to answer the call to seek and serve the least, lost, and lonely; offering them Jesus Christ! The mission does not change. Making new disciples of Jesus Christ is the heart of mission. May we continue to pray for guidance, direction, wisdom, empowerment, and opportunities to carry on his harvest in unique and wonderful ways!
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen!” Pray and practice the love and mercy of God!
In Jesus, Pastor Paul