Posted by: pastortomvabeach | January 11, 2018

Thought for the Week January 14, 2018

I guess we have weathered the storm during the past week, literally. I have lived in Virginia Beach since 1984, and I can’t remember a snow storm that had such an impact. I think there were times we had almost as much snow but the blizzard force winds and the bone chilling temperatures for days afterward were not part of the event. I remember a year where we had 6-8 inches of snow one day and nearly 60 degree temperatures the next so almost all of the snow melted within a day or so. This one was one for the records!

Since our services had to be cancelled last Sunday, the fact that Lilia and I were on vacation in Las Vegas, was only known to us and the staff. We had arranged to spend a few days there for the sole purpose of attending a concert by Celine Dion but, due to an incident in her concert the night before, our concert was cancelled! This vacation turned out to be more work and frustration than vacation. I can give you all the details if you care to ask.

At any rate, several negative circumstances seemed to all come together in a perfect storm till both Lilia and I were wondering if the Lord was trying to tell us something. I mean, when things begin to pile up, it makes you pause.

I think I got an answer when the resort where we stayed was attempting to get us to buy a more extensive and expensive contract. The salesman kept telling us how much we could travel, how many places we could go, how much fun we could have, and how reasonable the cost would be. Suddenly, all of the events of the past three days came to mind, and I sensed the Lord saying, “Life isn’t about leisure, travel, and having fun. This is trying to sidetrack you.” So we didn’t have any problem telling them we didn’t want to buy into what they were selling.

Don’t misunderstand. I believe there is a time for rest, recreation, and relaxation. In fact, God designed His time standard with a day called the Sabbath. We’re not supposed to be on point 24/7 without refilling our tanks. And I don’t believe the Lord is against us enjoying the wonders He has created. What I believe He was showing me is that this is not all life is about. There are better uses for our time and finances than mortgaging them for entertainment.

Ephesians 2:10 says, We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Our main objective should be to find those areas of life in which God wants us to serve Him and others by loving them, sharing the good news of Jesus, helping those who are needy, and being Jesus’ hands in the world. If we major in that, we’ll find rest in the Lord’s presence in our lives and joy in His creation.

We could have looked at the upsetting events that were unfolding prior to and during our vacation and wondered “Why us?”, thinking it wasn’t fair since we were just trying to get a little rest. But in the larger scheme of life, God is always good and He knows what is best for us. So it was best to ask, “What are you showing us?”, rather than “Why us?” Just a thought for you to ponder.

On a sad note, I just received a call from our dear sister, Lois Conrad. Her mother, who has had several difficult medical issues for several months, passed away earlier today. Lois has been with her mother, Edna Nugent, for several months helping with her care, and Lois’ daughter, Tabetha, joined them a few days ago. We join Lois, Emy, and the rest of the family in sorrow over her mom’s passing even though, as Lois said, she is having a good time with Jesus now.  Will you pray for Lois and her family as they navigate this difficult time?

Here’s an interesting thought when death visits. Why do we mourn and feel such hurt when we know our loved one is rejoicing in the presence of the Lord? The Scripture tells us two things that pertain. First, death has lost its sting and the grave has no more victory because Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross (I Corinthians 15:55-57). Because of this we don’t have to fear and, ultimately celebrate the graduation of Christians into heaven.

But the other thing it says is that death is the last enemy, The last enemy to be destroyed is death (I Corinthians 15:26). Death was never intended to be our friend. It came about because of sin as a judgment. Because of this we hurt, we experience shock and pain, we mourn when a loved one passes away. If they are believers we know they are with the Lord, but they are no longer with us and that hurts. So realize Jesus has won the victory but since we still live in this world that experiences death, it will hurt. But praise the Lord, we know who wins in the end! Jesus and His followers. So this is a twofer. Two thoughts for the price of one.

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