Sometimes I hate the word busy. It sounds like too good of an excuse, even though it’s the truth. Busy, we’ve been busy.
Selling a car (PRAISE the LORD), moving out of our apartment and in with some great friends, cleaning and turning over keys to our old apartment, having a massive garage sale, planning visits with our friends and supporters in St. Louis, trips to LA to get our Japanese visa taken care of, the collecting of medical records to take with us, mail forwarding, etc., etc., etc., etc.,… you get the idea.
OH, and traveling half-way across the country with a 7 month old. Who knew how exhausting that would be??
But, praise the Lord, He has been with us each step of the way– He has allowed us to take care of business, get what seemed like the impossible accomplished, and somehow gave us the endurance to make it through a few weeks of minimal sleep and extensive use of our mental and physical energy.
We are now in St. Louis, where I promised my dear husband that it would not snow in November. However, snow is scheduled for the weekend. I’m secretly excited, while at the same time commiserating with my tropical-blooded husband.
Yesterday, I spoke at my alma mater North County Christian School. I shared the story of how the Lord began calling me to missions, in Mrs. Pugh’s Freshman Bible Class, some 15 years ago next month. I shared how the Lord used me and other teenagers, who had not gone to seminary or Bible college, we had no PhDs, were not pastors or anything of the sort. We were just teenagers with availability, a love for Jesus and a humble heart to be used of God in ways we hadn’t imagined. But He did use us. Praise the Lord, His glory and power was magnified as the Lord met us there and healed the blind, the deaf, the paralyzed, the possessed.
We talked about how Abraham was the first missionary– called from a land he knew (surprising how many people are called away from lands they knew in order to be used of God), who revealed the Lord to others as he went. He was given an astonishing promise– land, generations to carry on, protection, fame… amazing benefits.
But, that wasn’t the point of the blessings. The Israelites as a whole missed it… the purpose clause:
and through you, all nations of the earth will be blessed.
Abraham was blessed to be a blessing. We are blessed to be a blessing. It’s something we see carried through to Revelation, where all peoples of the earth are praising the Lord in heaven.
The Lord blessed Abraham, Abraham blessed others, Others bless the Lord.
The blessing is to end back in praise to the Lord as we imitate Him and bless others. We bless others so that the Lord might receive glory– might receive the honor He is due.
When our focus becomes receiving the blessings of the Lord, it is easy to become self-centered. It makes us focus on our privilege and forget (or at least make light of) our purpose. The Israelites, consumed with the idea that they were the precious and chosen children of God (as indeed they were), eventually made laws to avoid associating with the very people they were to be a light and a blessing to. They could have been used of the Lord for greater purposes than they were, but they incapacitated themselves by refusing to share the blessing.
So, especially as we head into the holiday season, we are challenged, as we encourage you to be challenged, to consider the blessings in your life. And the things we are thanking the Lord for, consider how we might bless others through them. To God be the glory!
We are blessed to be a blessing!