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The results of grace

September 25, 2010
By The Rev. Walter Ellison, Pastor of the East Elkins United Methodist Church

As we travel this uncertain pathway of life, we encounter many obstacles in the way. Some of these can be very disturbing and make us want to stop and search for another path.

Sometimes we encounter many happy things that catch our eye and are enjoyable to view, and we get to a place in our mind that says stay don't go any farther, this is where you want to be. We call this place where everything is so enjoyable and pleasant our comfort zone. We all have a comfort zone - a place where we can feel at ease with what is going on around us. Sometimes this is a dangerous place to find ourselves, because we become complacent with everything and we begin to accept and expect less of life than we should. I think that God has a plan for our lives, and the good thing about his plan is that he wants us to be an active player in his plan.

While we are on our journey through life, we are faced with situations that really stress us to what we think is the limit or our endurance. Some of us have to deal with the death of a child, some with the death of a spouse. Sometimes it is a broken home or the loss of our way of supporting our family and our way of life. It may come about that we face a point that we can no longer live by ourselves because of one of these situation, and we seem to lose our independence. But we need to keep in mind God is still in control of whatever is going on within our lives, and we can't see the big picture or what God's plan is for us. Some people will say this is just a way to justify our situation, but we as Christians know what God says in Hebrews 13:5 that "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So now, we as Christians, have God's word to stand on, when everything around us is telling us that we will not make it through this situation, we can remember what God tells us in his word.

In the Old Testament book of Jonah, we can read where Satan came to God to prove that his servant Jonah would not be faithful if God would allow him to attack Jonah. We who have read the book of Jonah know what Satan did to Jonah, and through everything that happened, Jonah held on to his faith in God. As his friends and his wife tried to get him to deny God, he held on to that unseen hand, the hand of God.

As we traveled on our journey, we encountered obstacles or road blocks in our path. Sometimes that path is through the valley, If you have ever been in a situation where everything seems to go against you then this is the valley. But, as we travel in this valley there is only one way to go and that is onward and upward. It is a hard climb to get out of the valley, but when you are out of the valley and rest on the mountain top and you look back to the valleys where you have been and see everything that you have gone through, all you see is God's grace. This is the result of the Grace of God.

(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)



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