Sunday, February 19, 2017
Prepared for Ahead
During the last 21 years of my ministry, I served churches in Vidalia, Perry, and Richmond Hill. Every year except for a couple, I led Disciple Bible Study groups. Each group lasted from August to May and covered the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Each weekly session lasted 2 1/2 hours. It was not a Bible study for the faint hearted. It was a rigorous discipline and I made no effort to present it in any other way. After a couple of years I came to learn something. It seemed that there was always someone in the group who God had brought to the study as a way of preparing them for a difficult time that was ahead of them.
Such a thing should not surprise any of us. We do not know what is ahead in our lives. What is around the next turn in our journey remains unseen by us until the future becomes the present moment. In the book "Jayber Crow," Wendell Berry tells us through one of his characters that not knowing what is ahead is evidence of the mercy of God. And when we slow down a bit and think, we soon realize that not knowing is indeed a thing of mercy. Who would want to live today with the knowledge of some hard thing that is still a week, or a month, or even years ahead? While we may sometimes wish we knew what was going to happen in our future, there is mercy in not knowing.
While we do not know what is coming tomorrow, God does. He knows what is ahead. What He is doing in what is the unknown part of our journey is to prepare us for what is ahead of us. To remember Abraham's sojourning, Moses tending the sheep of his father-in-law, and the three year internship of the disciples with Jesus should be assurance enough. Rough places are ahead. Challenging moments are before us. Even impossible situations are waiting. But, God knows and God is working now to make us ready.