When I think about the people who mean the most to me …
Sometimes I think about my future, my wife’s future, the future of our children, and the future of the church. Very often, these thoughts begin as prayer as I bring their names before the Father.
Regarding Charlotte and me: I think about the kind of people we will be. I want to do whatever I can to make sure that we remain optimistic and cheerful people of faith. There are a number of people who are a few years older than I am that I just don’t want to be like. I don’t want to have that spirit of crankiness and complaining. I will sometimes hear younger people refer to a certain older woman or older man as a “grouch.” What a waste! Here is this person in her later years that people are trying to avoid instead of drawing near.
I would much rather become like the couple I visited with on Monday. In their 70s, they are dealing with some very serious health issues. Yet, in the middle of a very difficult time, they speak of how they are blessed by God. They smile at one another and at others. They speak of the goodness and mercy of God. Their love is deep and rich.
Regarding our daughters and son-in-law: They have each graduated from college and are working. My older daughter is married to a wonderful guy, and they live in middle Tennessee. Our younger daughter is single and lives in an urban area in another state. She is also going to graduate school part-time. They each love God and love people. All three of them have a heart for people who struggle with life.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them and pray for them. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t speak to them on the telephone. I pray for their future — for their marriages, for their children. I pray for them in times of temptation. I pray for them that they will have a heart for the things that really matter to God. I pray that they will pass on the story of Jesus to the next generation.
I pray they will not get caught up in materialism. I pray they will never get more passionate about the things they can buy and wear over how God can use them for the sake of his honor for kingdom purposes.
Regarding our congregation: I am a part of a wonderful group of people. I think about their/our future. How critical it is that we think and dream about the future and that we think about how God might use us during the few years that we are on this earth to make a real difference for the sake of the kingdom of God.
Yet, we do face dangerous times. Our greatest danger is that we will be content with the status quo and that our comfort and ease will be the priorities that we hold above all else. A commitment to such ease has a way of putting the brakes on what God otherwise wishes to do through the church.
I pray that our congregation might be what God is calling us to be. I pray that we will take our cues from Jesus and not from the world.
As you think about your spouse (if married) or your children (if you have them), what concerns do you have regarding the future?
As you think about your congregation, what has your heart? What do you pray about regarding these people?