Monday, April 16, 2007

Unplanned Ministries

Several years ago, a lady in my church wrote an article entitled, "Unplanned Ministries" for the ladies paper. This was soon after she had a major trial in her life, but was wise enough to know that God was going to work as a result of the painful time. It's pushing seven years since that article was first published, but I well remember reading it and thinking about it. The basic gist was that she would not have chosen to go through the trial, but that God opened the door for her to be a comfort to several other people who went through the same trial after she did.

Last year I hit a very low valley, and really didn't relish going through a certain trial. Many were the days I spent in tears and prayer was a lifeline to which I clung. Only a few knew about this trial, and did their best to comfort me, but it was only God's sweet Word that brought me true comfort.

But one dear encourager stands above the rest. You see, while others did their best to comfort me, and tell me everything was going to be ok, they hadn't actually gone through the trial. But, this person did and encouraged me the most! What a balm personal experience was to my heart! Although the trial lingered for a little while longer, I made it through by God's grace and by this dear person saying "a word fitly spoken".

Recently I had an opportunity to talk with someone going through some dark waters. When I heard about the situation, the first thing that popped into my mind was that article written ever so long ago by a mom just sharing her heart and I knew what kind of opportunity I had a before me: an unplanned ministry. You see, this person was going through the trial that I went through last year so I was able to practice Proverbs 15:23 ~ "a word spoken in due season, how good is it!"

On the finished side of a trial, I always look back and see God's Hand faithfully leading me through the low, low valley. While going through a trial is no picnic (and this is not my way of asking God for one!), there is an intimate sweetness with the Lord that can't be described. God always does something for a reason, even in a trial.

Surely "the goodness of God endureth continually." ~ Psalm 52:1

1 comment:

Happymama said...

The LORD always has a plan. It's hard to remember that when your trial seems never-ending. We've been going through a trial of our own here recently, but the Lord has watched over us every single day using others to encourage us through "a word fitly spoken." I also know that I will be able to share a word with someone one day too. I pray the Lord will use me for one of those unplanned ministries.