Phone: 1-864-855-5547

From the Pastor’s Desk

Grace Baptist Church

 

 

Some years ago a manager in the firm where I worked approached me with a stack of files that I could readily see was a project he wanted to assign to me. Jokingly, I asked, “What kind of problems are you bringing me?” I will never forget his reply. “This isn’t a problem; it’s an opportunity!” Both of us were engaging in a moment of lighthearted humor as we dealt with the sometimes-difficult projects that were required in our respective jobs. We laughed about it but in reality he was correct.

Recently I found myself expressing a sense of displeasure at the thought of some task to be performed. As much as it is possible to know one’s heart, it was not that the task was something that I would not enjoy doing but the thought of being required to do it. In most cases I would have preferred to do something else. So I would utter a “I’ve got to do such and such tomorrow” with a tone of disappointment. But as these words started to flow from my mouth I was reminded of what an opportunity, even a blessing, the task really was. As a result, I began to change my statement to “I get to do such and such tomorrow.” The responsibility remained the same but rather than focusing on the obligation I began to cherish the blessing.

How often we are tempted to focus on the difficulty, obligation or problem we face rather than seeing the blessings or opportunities that these provide. It is easy to complain about work; yet it is through that work that God supplies our needs. It is easy to grumble about a problem in our life; yet it is through these problems that we learn that God’s grace is sufficient for every problem we face. We fret in the difficult times of life, but as the poet described, it is in those moments that God carries us.

This truth is illustrated in the lives of so many believers. Fanny Crosby saw further in her blindness that many who have 20/20 vision will ever see. Joni Eareckson Tada can teach us more about the grace of God than many a congregation who sings of it will ever experience.

So in this month, dedicated to thanksgiving, let’s recalibrate our thinking. It is not necessary that we be able to identify the blessing that our problems will prove to be. It may be that at this point only God knows but we can trust Him to make this trial work for our good.

“In everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and “for all things” (Ephesians 5:20) give thanks.

Jeffrey Kelley