Monday, May 16, 2011

Why does trouble come to our lives?

Sometimes God paints in HD and speaks in something far superior to Dolby surround sound 7.1.

Last night, my pastor delivered his sermon on this very topic – Why trouble comes into our life. Taking his text from Job 14:1 (Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.)
That verse pretty much touches us all, doesn't it?

Many great points were developed during his preaching, but the last ones were specifically inspired by the Holy Spirit just for me:

Trouble comes to develop our leadership
Trouble comes to display our lives

Both of these points spoke to me tremendously as a result of the health issues I’ve been battling ove the previous 9 months. Suddenly, the events of those 270+ days (and especially the opportunity that was presented earlier in the morning) seemed to be revealing specifically to me the words of Romans 8:28. (Look it up - it'll do you good!)

Ok, so it’s time for a flashback (my wife hates dramas that do flashbacks, so hopefully she won’t read this! ).

As most of you know, I am a member of The Gideons International, an organization whose sole purpose is the distribution of God’s Word into the traffic lanes of life with the sole purpose of winning the lost for Christ. We strive to visit each of our partner churches on an annual basis to deliver a stewardship report along with sharing salvation testimonies that demonstrate the power of God’s Word. To this end, I was invited to speak at a local church this past Sunday, and had just a wonderful time visiting with the folks at this local assembly as I shared with them about the local and international Gideon organizations.

This particular church presents a unique challenge to a speaker, in that they provide three worship opportunities for their congregation. As a speaker, you want to present a compelling message that will touch the congregation, including the testimonies that are presented. The specific challenge is to present unique testimonies to each service, and have the passion of each changed life on display for the congregation. Each service had a different “feel” to the worship for this conservative Baptist, but let me stress – at no point did I feel uncomfortable. Just before the service was to begin, at the request of the pastor, I had taken a seat just in front of the choir, facing the congregation.

As I was waiting for the start of the service, I heard a female voice behind me having a conversation with the lady next to her. The voices were markedly grieving over some tragedy; it was as if the words were dripping with tears. I felt sorry for them and the troubles that they were discussing.

Just as the pianist hit the opening chords of the prelude, I heard the dreaded words - "They are saying he needs to have his spleen removed!" I turned around, rather rudely I'm sure, to capture a mental photograph of these two with the intent of speaking to them at the end of the service.

As the service concluded, I found myself at the back of the church, alongside the Pastor, greeting each of the attendees and answering their questions concerning the work of the Gideons. I'm sure that some of them wondered why I appeared to be so distracted (I'm positive it showed). I kept watching the lady from the choir making sure she didn't leave by a side door. I just felt compelled to speak with her.

Finally, I had my chance and I shared that I had overheard her conversation about someone needing a spenectomy. I told her that I had that same surgery within the past few months and would be willing to share my experiences if she desired. Oh, yes - she wanted details - all the details. As it turned out, she was discussing her son's illness (ITP - same as me) and all the treatments he had received without any positive results thus far. (Sounding familiar???)

She had concerns about the treating physician, who happens to be my doctor, and I was able to reassure her that she should trust him. She had concerns about the surgeon, you guessed it - my surgeon, and again, I expressed my confidence and my experiences of after procedure care telling her I would never let anyone else cut on me if this Dr. was available. The after surgical treatment procedures were also discussed, along with my recent tremendous good news of platelets actually a little high!!

Suffice to say this lady left in a much better frame of mind than when she arrived. I'm just thankful to God that I was used as an instrument of encouragement!

So why does trouble come - to put our lives on display and to develop our leadership.

Wow! What an awesome God we serve!!!


c said...

Yes, Rick we never know when the experience and challenges we endeavor will help someone else along the way. Always praying that Jesus is in the midst.

God bless you.

c said...

Yes, Rick we never know when some of the trials and challenges we endeavor will help someone along their way.

God bless you.