Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Reflections - 2006 - Praise Ye the Lord

At our prayer meeting this evening, Pastor Bob led us in a reading of Psalm 135. We praised God for His attributes, His preservation of His own "peculiar" people. We praised Him as the Creator, the One who does anything He pleases. We contrasted Him with idols, He who can do all things with idols who can do no thing.

Then our Pastor asked us if we had any testimony we wanted to share regarding what the Lord had done for us in 2006. It was a beautiful time of praising a beautiful God. One lady shared how God had taken her from a bitter, angry, uncaring, unfeeling woman to one who daily delights in the Lord and enjoys making dinner for strangers or sharing a loaf of bread with a neighbour in need. Another lady shared how seeing her friend suffer a stroke and become stronger and stronger through the year strengthened her faith in God. Another spoke of God's gracious dealings with her son, through surgery, tests, admission to college, etc. God truly directs our paths.

One of the men, a lay minister, marvelled at how God has provided opportunity after opportunity for him to preach, when his heart's desire is to preach the Word and interact with people. Our pastor's wife shared how she is learning to disregard the little things and focus on the big things: what God is doing in this world, and how He uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise.

What a blessing to hear God's people praise God for blessings AND for trials! They stood together, firm in their faith, knowing that our gracious Father works everything for good, that His timing is always perfect, that He is utterly in control, and that He can be trusted, day by day, with the little things and the big things.

How good it is to share with God's people. Reminds me of a verse in Malachi (3:16) - Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honoured His name.

17. "They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not."

It is good to be with other Christians. It is good to know that as we share our testimonies and encourage one another, the Lord is listening, and the Lord is hearing. It is good to know that our names are being written down in a scroll of remembrance. It is so good to know that we are His treasured possession.

Halleluiah! Praise the Lord!