Staying Above the Water

by Pastor Gary Jennings

Every Wednesday morning beginning at 7am I lead a men’s group. This takes place at our church in the lower auditorium. We begin with shooting the breeze. This is always light and mixed with coffee sips, chuckles and laughter. I enjoy these moments with my friends. Following this we have an interactive Bible study for about one half hour.

We open the floor and give each one an opportunity to share what they are thinking as we unfold our study. Then we pray for the men in our church, and other needs we are aware of, have more coffee and add toast, then we are off to begin our day. Wednesday mornings have become one of the many spiritual wake up calls that I continually need. Since September we have been studying the men of the Bible. We began at the beginning with Adam. Among other things, as we study these men, we are looking at their character, their sorrow and their triumph. In every man I am discovering that just as it was then, it still is today. There is the potential for the good, the bad and the ugly in all of us.

On Wednesday, November 5, we looked at the man Joseph. This man was incredible. He was like a blown up beach ball. Have you ever tried to keep one under the water? It’s impossible. Joseph was like that. His story is recorded beginning in Genesis 37. He always seemed to pop up, surface and rise to the top despite whatever and whoever was trying to sink him. The jealousy of his brothers could not do him in. Slavery could not do him in. False accusations could not do him in. Imprisonment could not do him in. These are the majors and sometimes it’s even the minors that can threaten to bust my beach ball. Ah yes, I can learn a lot from Joseph. The only thing I can find that is close to being negative about Joseph is that when he was young, he went to his father and squealed on his brothers and made them mad, and maybe he should have used more discretion in sharing his dreams with his brothers. That’s it as far as I can tell.

Here’s my take away from Joseph, and my spiritual wake up call for this hour. It’s from a scripture that is found in Romans 8:28. I know that God will work all things out in my life for His glory if I will let Him. Now that I have faith in Christ, nothing will ever work against me. All will work for me. I can float. Christ is the air in my beach ball.

Recently I attended a conference in Gimli Manitoba. On one of the afternoons I was skipping rocks across the Lake Winnipeg water. I hadn’t done that in years. I felt like a little boy again. I can be like those flat stones in Christ. I can skip across the water instead of sinking below it. It is not dependent upon what happens to me, but rather who is working through me and in me.

Well, this is my most recent spiritual wake up call. I am sure, and I hope, that there will be many more. What is your most recent spiritual wake up call? We all need to keep waking up to new truths.