Never one to miss a celebration
The Bible offers some pretty solid advice. It gives us a riveting history of the people of God. Many find comfort in the Scriptures when they are hurting.
And there are verses I read and they will not let me go. For example, we read in a biblical paraphrase, The Message:
“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you - from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” (I Peter 2:9)
Come visit us in Wednesday night Bible study sometime and we can really dissect this verse. God chose us, not the other way around; what priestly work was Peter actually referring to....
But for the purpose of this article, let’s focus on our part. We are to do priestly work. Be a holy people. Do His Work. Speak out for Him.
In a nutshell, we are God’s representatives. And I often reflect on the fact that I had NO idea what that meant when I walked down a church aisle to Just As I Am at age seven.
Then, quietly but assuredly, the Holy Spirit reminds me I have no idea what all that means now. But by the grace of God, I am learning.
Can I share with you where the identity found in this verse has taken me lately?
Several years ago, a gal in Bible study asked us to pray for Beth. We didn’t know Beth but she lived in our community and her husband had been in a terrible car accident. Beth and her husband had a long road ahead of them. We prayed. A few short months later, Beth started attending our Bible study. This group surrounded her with the love of Christ and I was proud to be a part of it.
A few times, when Beth was really in the thick of it. She didn’t make it through the study without tears. So, under the directive of those in our group with the Spiritual gift of mercy, we stopped the lesson for the day, put our hands on Beth and prayed.
Beth and her family survived this incident. They live a new normal these days. Happy.
One of the results that came from the accident is that Beth needed to go back to school. To further her nursing education. She busted her butt for a couple years. Finally, graduation day came! She invited her friends and family to join them in this celebration.
Now, my husband didn’t know Beth or her family. So, I gave up a Saturday with him, loaded up our daughter to play with the kids that would be at the party, and the two of us went.
Because I knew. This party celebrated something much bigger than just a graduation. That alone warrants a party. But this was more.
Life threw Beth a curve ball. Things got really hard for a few years. Illusions were shattered and I had nothing to offer in the way of wisdom. But she trusted God. She knew He had already made her life from nothing to something - from rejected to accepted. From one ambassador for Christ to another, I saw God had been up to something.
I wasn’t about to miss out on celebrating that!
Another friend lost a baby due to complications during the pregnancy. When I met her, she was grieving the loss of their daughter. Imagine her excitement when some time later Kate found out she was expecting. Another girl. The pregnancy, though closely monitored, met with success and a beautiful, healthy little one arrived.
A year passed. A year of firsts. A year when Mama Kate thought her heart might burst as she had this second chance to raise a little girl after her precious one had been lost.
And, of course, Kate and her family threw a party! I learned a baby who dies is called an angel baby. While a baby born after the tragic death is a rainbow baby. Pointing us to the truth we read about in the story of Noah. When God sends a rainbow to remind us He is faithful to His promises.
So, we had us a rainbow party. Again, my husband didn’t know the family. I didn’t know them very well either. It didn’t matter. I loaded up my daughter to play with the kids at the party, and the two of us went.
Because I knew. This party celebrated something much bigger than a first birthday. That alone warrants a party. But this was more.
Kate had been in the depths of despair. I can’t relate. But I have been witness too many times. Women suffering the worst loss imaginable. The loss of a child. But she trusted God. She knew He had already made her life from nothing to something - from rejected to accepted. From one ambassador for Christ to another, I saw God had been up to something.
I wasn’t about to miss out on celebrating that!
It isn’t always easy to give up family time to attend these events. For those who work full-time, it is sometimes not possible to always be available.
Some days I am tired. But I told you, the verse, it got to me. I am chosen to do priestly work. Ministry. All believers are. Why?
Repeat after me: To tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you - from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
So, when you see God is up to something, practice your priestly duties, holy one. Where God calls you to, step into that. Celebrate!