Moving within itself is stressful, but imagine having to move in the pouring rain! Well, today is our moving day. Having been placed on incapacity leave in July, I now find myself residing in an apartment versus a United Methodist Parsonage. Let me say that a parsonage can be a good thing, primarily that it provides the preacher and his family a place to live without cost. The downside is that a person can spend 40 years in ministry and not own a home. I guess it’s a trade-off. Let’s get back to moving in the rain. Yesterday’s weather was nasty and unfortunately the forecast for today calls for more of that pesky rain. I can assure you that if I would have known that it was the slightest possibility of rain I never would have scheduled the movers for today. Oh, the unforeseen things that can happen in life. You are traveling down the road of life and all of a sudden something unexpected happens. You have a flat tire, blow a gasket or are involved in a fender bender. Traveling can be difficult. None of us are guaranteed a journey without some delays. However for those that call themselves Christians there is someone who is with us, as we journey through life and his name is, Jesus.
I remember when I first asked Jesus to travel with me. I was 12 years old sitting in The Stonewall Assembly of God Church. Reverend Hayward Youngblood was preaching. He was preaching about the need that all have for Jesus to come into their lives. He was preaching about how much Jesus loved me. He told me that God loved me so much that he sent his only son to die on the cross for my sins and not only my sins but the sins of the world. I heard him say that all I had to do was believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and I would be saved. I remember getting up from my pew when he gave the invitation and going forward. I gave my life to Christ. I surrendered to the convicting power of The Holy Spirit. I was only 12, and as far as sinning goes I hadn’t done much, but I knew that I was a sinner. I knew that Jesus was the only one that could make my life complete.
It’s hard to believe that its been 33 years since Jesus started this journey with me. There have been a lot of bends in the road. A lot of water has gone under the bridge, but through it all, Jesus has remained with me. Have I always followed his leading? Have I always listened to his voice? The answer is no. However, in spite of all my sinfulness, shortcomings and failures Jesus has never left me. He has always been with me even when I wasn’t always with him.
My favorite Epistle is Philippians. It has been called the book of joy. “Be full of joy in the Lord always. I will say again, be full of joy. Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon. Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything that you need, always giving thanks. And, God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7, CEV). These verses are but just a snippet of the promises which God gives us in the Book of Philippians. A text from this little book that has come to mean a great deal to me as I journey through life is found in the third chapter. “I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not reached the goal, but I continue to try to reach it and make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me his,” (Philippians 3:12). This promise has been given to me and to all that follow Jesus. I’m traveling down this road of life, and I realize that I’m not all that God wants me to be, but I’m still reaching. I am going to keep traveling with Jesus even though I’m tired and weary. I’m going to keep on doing what Jesus wants me to do, even though it’s difficult at times. I am going to continue on with Jesus because that’s what Jesus wants me to do and I am his! Yes, there will be difficulties on the journey, but with Jesus with me it will be just great! Guess, what, it’s thundering and raining. Looks like the movers will have to wrap everything twice to keep it dry. We’ll make it through a rainy move. Jesus is with us and everything will be o.k.