Answers come from unexpected sources
February 25, 2011
Isn't it amazing where our answers to prayer can come from?
I don't get a lot of time to read, but I try to grab a short book or interesting magazine article whenever I can.
Needless to say, my chosen reading material can get pretty outdated before I get a chance to read it.
The other night I had a few hours that weren't strictly scheduled so I grabbed some reading time, even though there was a sink full of dishes.
At one point I found myself reading from a magazine that I received in November 2009.
A Sunday school teacher wrote an article describing her experiences and trials with teaching a Sunday school class composed of second-grade children.
The picture she painted with her words really drew me into her story. I've been there and done that on Sundays for many years, and I identified with her.
Along with the amusing stories she related about her experiences in class, she also shared about the comfort she derived from attending her church.
She spoke about the familiar things and activities she grew up loving in her church: choir, potlucks, youth fundraisers, building repair projects, the marquee with plastic letters, etc.
I felt as if she were writing about our city and any one of our churches. Just as I have done, she voiced her worry that the youngsters in her class were not catching on to what she was trying to convey about Jesus. Her pastor, a very wise man, answered her questions, concerns and doubts by saying it was her ministry.
He also stated that she was there. He said she was there every week.
Our ministries, like our giftedness, differ. Some can preach in front of the congregation each week while others lead a class on Sunday mornings.
Some plow the snow in the parking lot (thanks, Bill) and others make soup for members meeting after church to develop those building repair plans.
Still others serve a hot meal at a soup kitchen or answer phones or clean apartments or sit with a grieving widow.
Her pastor, through her article, showed me the common thread that runs through our Christian service to God.
This thread is visible (but often not noticed) to our congregation and to our community. All of the people committed to ministry work have the desire to show up, to be witnesses to others and to patiently wait for answers to prayer.
These traits are the way we witness to others in a non-verbal way. We demonstrate our love and faith in Jesus to the community by these ministries.
Do we get tired? Sure. Do we doubt we're making an impact? Of course we do. But do we show up? Yes.
It certainly is amazing where the answers to our prayers can come from.
I'll wave a greeting to you on Sunday, if I can spare attention away from those busy, energetic children in my Sunday school class.