Posted by: pastortomvabeach | December 16, 2008

Thought For The Week December 14, 2008

Forgive me – I was on vacation last week and did not post this “Thought” on time. Better late than never so here it is . . .

I am taking a week of vacation to catch up on some relaxation before the final excitement leading up to Christmas and just wanted to take a moment to offer you some food for thought this week. On Sunday, I shared a story from John Ortberg’s book The Life You Always Wanted, about a lady named Mabel.

Mabel was blind, nearly deaf, and suffered from cancer which erupted as a deforming sore on her cheek. She had been confined to an overcrowded nursing facility for 25 years. In the midst of what most of us would consider to be unthinkable circumstances, this dear lady said that her main activity every day was to think about Jesus. When asked she said that what she thought about Jesus was that He had been so good to her. Despite the physical trials she lived with constantly, despite the conditions in which she had to endure these trials, despite the seemingly endless days, months, and years of this journey, the thing that stood out to her was that Jesus was so good!

Beloved friends, that story moves me. The first time I told it, it brought me to tears. I don’t think my emotions were stirred so much by the fact that this wonderful woman had such a tremendous testimony as they were by thinking just how good God has been to me. I mean, if she could proclaim His goodness in her situation, how much more should I be honoring and praising Him?

God has been very good to me. From the midst of sinful darkness, He revealed to me the Light of the World, His Son, Jesus Christ. With absolutely nothing good to offer, He saved me by His marvelous grace at the age of 28. This is a tremendous miracle since studies tell us that a very small percentage of people over age 10 ever give up their lives to Christ and come to Him in faith. God has been good.

He orchestrated my life to give me a loving, caring, and kind wife, who put up with my sinfulness and neglect through our years before Christ and has put up with my stumbling slow growth since Jesus came in. He gave us three children to delight our lives and now grandchildren who are even better. He guided me through my first career in the U.S. Navy which put me in the right place at the right time to follow His lead into the ministry and service at a great church. He has protected me with good health and has always provided what we need.

He surrounded me with God fearing, faith-filled, loving people who support the work He calls us to here at Christian Chapel. He demonstrates His loving kindness every time I spend time with Christian friends and fills my life with joyous moments that lift and sustain me. I think that God has been good to me.

Even when things don’t look so good to me, God is still good. I may not be able to express it like Mabel did and I often mess up when things are difficult, but most of the time there comes a point where Jesus reminds me that He is still here and He is still working everything for good. As I write I am wondering when the Novocain in my jaw will wear off and when the soreness from today’s dentist visit will go away. I don’t handle pain very well but I know God is still good! Having a tooth prepared for a crown with something to deaden the pain is much better than having it pulled out with nothing, as happens so often in third world countries. Beloved, I don’t think we know how good God is to us!

As we move through the Christmas season, would you set aside a little time to just ponder all of the ways that God has been good to you? If you can’t think of anything else just meditate on the events of the first Christmas – the miracles of fulfilled prophecy, of Jesus coming in the flesh, and of God offering you forgiveness from sin and entry into His family. That is good enough to cover everything else in life, I think. Thinking about God’s goodness has a way of lifting us even when things are tough. Just a thought.

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