Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Message

This morning, I received a message from someone I have never met. Today's plan had already been established, a part of a weekly routine that I often times should break from, but the message began to change the course of the day. This person had read something that I had written for a magazine and had taken the time to seek me out and sent this message. She has never met me, but she impacted the course of my day, and for that I will always be thankful.

We are creatures of habit. Our weekly schedules are often near replicas of a week prior, our focus set on the same things from days before. All the while, life is passing by us and opportunities are being wasted. I had intended to do those things that "needed" to be done. In truth, most of what was planned was fairly unnecessary, but I deem some things are part of the job and carry on with it as if it had to be done. Then, a message came, and that message reminded me of Scripture.

In 1st Chronicles, chapter 4, there is a list of names, a continuation of the roll call from previous chapters and a prelude to more names being listed thereafter. In verses 9 and 10 of chapter 4, there is a pause from the roll call and these two verses say, "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez and said, 'I gave birth to him in pain.' Jabez called out to the God of Israel: 'If only You would bless me, extend my border, let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not cause any pain.' And God granted his request." (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 HCSB)

In the middle of the list of descendants and generations, a prayer is contained, spoken by a man who sought more in his life. God wanted such a prayer to be read by others, such a prayer a reminder that God hears and God answers us. Jabez was more than a name because he called out to God and God answered him. Notice what Jabez asked for. He asked that his borders be extended. Each day, we can reach beyond what we know and who we know to reach out to a greater/wider audience, praying that the Lord will use us in ways we never imagined.

Today, we all had a plan, but so does the Lord. We can focus on what we think "needs" to be done or we can ask Him to show us what He wants us to do and watch as He expands the borders of our lives. A message from someone I did not know came to me today. God used that message to remind me to focus beyond what I see, beyond what I know, and let Him work through me to reach more people. I had reached that lady with something I wrote. God used her to reach me to trade in my plan for this day and ask what His plan for my day contains.

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