I’ve stated before that God doesn’t need us to accomplish His purposes. Yet He blesses us by allowing us the opportunity to participate in His work. Being used by God to influence others into a closer walk with Him ranks extremely high on the list of ways God can bless us. I think it falls just below blessings where God chooses to reveal more of Himself to us personally, resulting in our worshiping Him more passionately with our own lives,
This past weekend I was abundantly blessed by the privilege of co-leading our church’s men’s retreat. Thirty-eight men spent the weekend being attentive to God’s presence as we alternated between times of solitude with God and times in community with others sharing in what God is doing in each of our lives. (My previous three posts on “Coming to God…” were part of the curriculum.) For many of the men, it was their first time in this kind of experience. My prayer for them before the weekend was that they would come hungry to spend time with God, and then leave even hungrier for it. Based on the feedback I’ve had, God answered that prayer for many.
Going into the weekend, I was a little disappointed that the timing of this retreat conflicted with another event that I was looking forward to. I’m involved with an organization called Up and Running Again that works with homeless people and at-risk youth, training them to run a half-marathon. The 14 week training is accompanied by some curriculum to help connect their running experience to the rest of life. This weekend we had about 100 runners participating in the Long Beach Half Marathon. On the night before each race, we hold a banquet for the runners and their families. The retreat meant that I had to miss the banquet and the race.
But as if the retreat itself wasn’t blessing enough, Saturday night I get a text that three runners indicated at the banquet that they had made decisions to commit their lives to Christ. Several more indicated they were considering it.
So God demonstrated His abundant blessings to me this weekend through what I was doing, and through what I wasn’t doing. We serve an amazing God!