Growth; November 22, 2021

2 Chronicles 7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
“He is good; his love endures forever.”

It is hardly surprising that the people would respond this way, when they had just seen the Lord manifest a tiny portion of His power by consuming the offerings with fire from heaven. That said, what hit me just now in reading this was that the people didn’t stay in that position. You can’t live your life with your face pressed to the flagstone pavement! All sorts of things happen to us in life, but the major issue is not only how we respond in the moment, but how we go on from there. The people in this story doubtless remembered this experience for the rest of their lives, but how did it affect their daily living? Was their devotion to God ongoing? We have the expression, “frozen in time,” but the only way for that to happen is for the thing involved to die, because life involves change by its very definition. We all have memories that are snapshots of various experiences, and it isn’t unusual for people to sit around sharing their memories of some major event. However, some of our “memory snapshots” are of things that don’t seem particularly momentous, even to us. Only God knows the meaning and purpose of those events in our lives. We’re back to the question of how we respond to our life events, because everything has a purpose in God’s plan. We waste valuable time and energy if we fail to respond to things as God desires and intends.

I think this hit me particularly because we just had a major event in our annual church calendar, decorating the church for Christmas in the afternoon and having a Thanksgiving celebration last night. It was a grand success, with a good crowd and good participation. However, it won’t be very meaningful if the impressions received don’t last any longer than it takes to digest all the food we ate! We had people here who haven’t been in a long time because of moving, and we had people here who have only visited before, and aren’t yet believers. I think the various testimonies showed numbers of people changes they need to make in their lives, and in the talking afterward I shared with a small group how I feel the Lord is about to make changes in my life. Yesterday was excellent in many ways, but we all need to be willing to grow as the Lord directs. Life is never static, and I need to lead the way in welcoming the growth that God has planned for us.

Father, thank You indeed for yesterday and all it held, and for getting us through it all. Thank You that I could sleep in this morning! I do pray that I would recognize Your schedule for each day and follow it with joy, as a sacrifice of praise to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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