it is a very special thing. He shares his messages with you before he preaches them. He asks you how it went after the service. He is always there to answer any Bible question you have and give Biblical counsel day or night. And as a man of the Word, God uses him to convict your heart right when you need it. Like today for example...
The Sunday School study was the usual 'let's reflect on the birth of Christ' study that most every Sunday School has the Sunday before Christmas. This time it was different. One of the questions in his study was to put yourself in Mary and Joseph's place and think about how they felt with all the events surrounding the birth of Christ.
And it hit me like a ton of bricks!
At this time of year, we read Luke 2, look at beautiful illustrations of Mary holding the newborn Son of God and reflect on what a wonderful story it is.
This time I looked deeper as the pastor urged us.
I looked and found a life of humiliation for Mary among her neighbors and friends as she was forever labeled as the 'the girl that got pregnant before marriage'. I found Joseph being talked about behind his back and even accused to his face as 'the man that did it'.
I found a very uncomfortably pregnant Mary travelling to a far away city. I saw best laid plans for a birth in the comfort of her own home traded for that of a birth in a stable most likely with animals nearby and most likely without the midwife.
I saw a young father and mother fleeing with their young child into a foreign land, from a king so mad with power that he ordered the death of every child under the age of two.
What was that I was complaining about? The future ministry plans that aren't seeming to go the way I was sure God wanted them to go? That we are getting a hot and muggy Christmas instead of a cold and snowy one? The ants I had to pick off of my freshly baked Christmas cookies?
And so over an afternoon of washing dishes I confessed my complaining heart to the Lord and when the pastor came in for a Christmas cookie, I looked him in the eye and told him thanks for the message, it was just what I needed to hear.
And it felt like I could hear Mary say,"It was worth it all and really, it was only a moment that life I lived on earth. Keep on keeping on!"