A Time and a Season
by: Joan Meyler
I’ve had occasion to attend several funerals recently and have been aware of even more persons who have transitioned from this world to the next, some very unexpectedly. As disconcerting as some of these have been, I listened to family and friends share their experiences and memories of the life their loved one lived. These testimonies brought about a greater awareness of God among us; in the life of the deceased, in the lives of grieving family and friends, and in the life of the on-lookers.
Ecclesiastes 3 shares the seasonality of life and listening to my friends speak of their relationship with the deceased, I was reminded of the “great crowd of witnesses” mentioned in Hebrews 12:1 and came to the realization that these witnesses are not isolated in a vacuum. They are us; the family spending time together, creating and sharing memories, learning to worship together, being vulnerable. Over and over throughout each celebration of life, daughters spoke of how their fathers demonstrated Christian principles without even trying, mothers teaching children to pray as they went about their daily tasks. These men and women lived an ordinary life that became extraordinary because of their relationship with the One with whom a thousand years is but a day (2 Peter 3:8).
During the season of Lent, some of us have chosen to participate in a form on self-denial and spiritual discipline through fasting and prayer. As I reflect on these extraordinary lives lived by ordinary people, I pose these question to myself and you:
What do you hope to accomplish through fasting and prayer?
Are you seeking a deeper understanding of God’s word and work in your life?
Are you seeking a more trusting relationship, one moving your faith from Savior to Lord?
I pray that as we travel through this Lenten season, we emerge transformed into the extraordinary people God created us to be.
by: Joan Meyler
What does Trust have to do with it?
You have faith in God, don’t you? Would I be wrong if I said you were very faithful? What about trust? You would probably say, “Of course I do”. But do you really”. We are told in Proverbs 3:5 to “put your trust in the Lord and . . . “ and not to depend on what we understand. This is not talking about having faith or devotion in God’s abilities; but being bold, confident, reliant and secure that God will manifest that which has been promised.
Let’s look at Elijah, a man of faith. God sent him to the Brook of Cherith (place of separation) where he was fed by ravens and later to the widow of Zarephath. Elijah’s devotion to God was tested by the removal from the place he was familiar with. What he knew no longer made sense, so he had to change his thoughts. There had to be a manifestation of his faith in his thoughts and actions. In other words, Elijah had to be confident and secure in the knowledge that God would keep him alive and safe. It was only then that God could use him in this woman’s life. It was the same with the widow of Zarephath. She was ready to eat her last meal and die of starvation. Yet, when she met Elijah, she followed his instructions with the confidence (trust) that God would answer her prayers for provision. Elijah had to sit and wait (a most difficult thing to do) until God thought he was ready to be used. The widow had to be confident in God’s ability to provide for her and her son even though all she could physically see was what she was lacking. Once their faith (devotion) was manifested in their actions (trust), they were now open for God to express his creativity and provision through them.
May I encourage you to trust (be bold, confident, reliant and secure) that God will manifest that which has been promised as you exercise your faith (devotion) and walk in the abundance of God’s provision. (James 2:14-26)
Brief exercise: Read 1Kings 17:7-16. Make a list comparing yourself with the Widow and/or Elijah