Enjoying the Journey
Have you ever wondered why God blesses any of us? One thing is sure. It is not because we deserve it. All of His blessings are mercy. And all of His blessings are for more than our consumption.
This consumer crazy culture has affected all of us. “Enjoy! Get all you can! Keep it for yourself!” But this is not the way of our Saviour. God blesses us to be a blessing. In the words of Christ, “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”
The world likes to talk about “paying it forward.” It is more than that. It is passing on to others the truth, the kindness, the grace that God has extended to us. This is not just done on Sunday – it done every day. And it is not just done in public ways – it is done in small, personal ways.
About two years ago I was speaking at a men’s retreat in another state. At one of the lunches a kind man came and sat across from me. We had a nice discussion about many things. During the conversation my new friend asked if I had read a certain book. As much as I love to read, I had never heard of it. He told how the book had greatly impacted his life and recommended that I get a copy.
Frankly, I did not think much more about the subject until two weeks later. A package arrived at my office one day from the man. It was a copy of the book he had recommended. This man had done more than talk to me; he had invested in me.
Over several months the book became a rich resource. Not long ago God led a man to me who was struggling. In the course of our meeting the Lord brought that book to my mind. I gave him a copy to read and the Lord used it in his life also.
Last week I passed this same man and inquired how he was doing. His response was, “Great! God is helping me…and I just started working with a man who was battling much the same thing I have been through. I have been telling him the things I learned from that book…”
Immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to me. This is God’s way. We receive. We relay. Others receive. Others relay. It never stops. Or at least it shouldn’t.
This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Churches are full of Dead Sea Christians: people who take it all in and (pardon the expression) become more spiritually bloated all the time. But nothing flows out of them.
Life becomes death when it is kept to itself.
I remember the day that my wife and I lost our first baby. We were young and excited, and we were devastated. Why did this happen to us? God gave us grace that we had never known.
Months went by. I was sitting in a church service when the pastor asked that we pray for a young couple that had miscarried and was grieving. Then I knew. God allowed us to go through that trial for them.
It is one of the great revelations of life! It’s not about me. It’s about God’s grace in us and through us. How has God blessed you? Find a way this week to pass it on to someone else. It may be a book. A phone call. A note. God will show you.
The point is simple: don’t let it stop with you.