Every speaker and teacher I know agrees that organizing their thoughts into a talk or written piece leaves them feeling they learned more than their audiences did. I’m no exception.
At this time of year, we tend to reflect on the previous twelve months. As I did a quick scan of my 2018 blog posts (www.glennpearson.co/new-blog), I thought all of them had something of value. Of course I did, or I wouldn’t have written them 😊. But as an undergraduate English major trained to notice literary patterns, I recognized some inter-related themes in four of my blogs:
January 24 – The Absolute Best Bible Passage for Resolving an Age-Old Debate – References Daniel 3:17-18 where the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar threatened to incinerate Daniel’s three friends if they didn’t worship the golden image he had set up – “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it . . . . But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
July 19 – got envy? – Tells of my envy over seeing people having the luxury of running when I had to drive to work, but then my equal envy when I was the one running in the park when my business was slow and saw people on their way to productive jobs
November 15 – When God Uses You to Answer Someone Else’s Prayer but Doesn’t Answer Yours – Relates the story how God supernaturally allowed me to establish a mentoring relationship with a young man at LA Fitness who specifically prayed for someone to take him under his wing as he was literally driving to the gym that very morning
December 12 – Contentment: 2 Obvious But Life-Changing Ideas – Reminds us of two things:
· Contentment consists not in great wealth but in few wants
· Since God controls absolutely everything, loves me completely, and knows what he’s doing, I have exactly what he wants me to have
Here’s how these four fit together. I see others’ favorable circumstances but envy them (the envy blog), and I rejoice when God uses me to bless someone else but wonder why some of my prayers aren’t answered (the blog about using me to answer someone else’s prayer), resulting in more envy. The antidote is to ponder Daniel’s three friends’ faith as they recognize God can do the absolutely impossible if he wants to and to emulate their astounding commitment to trust him even if he chooses a different path for them. Internalizing these three lessons leads me to contentment as I see that my circumstances reflect exactly what God wants me to have.
Ironically, literally one hour before I posted the contentment blog, I received some very disappointing ministry-related news. God graciously reminded me of these four blogs and, although I was still disappointed, he allowed me to exhale and trust his loving sovereignty. So, I’m thankful I had the chance to unexpectedly minister to myself 😊. But of course, I am ultimately thankful to God for driving these lessons into my heart and allowing me to live them out.