Thursday, September 17, 2009

Guest Post: Bend in the Road, Part 3

I found this sermon while surfing and wrote Pastor Boerger for permission to share this message that he preached May 27, 2007. Pastor Boerger's wife Vonda had breast cancer 7 years earlier and she had just received the devastating diagnosis of the cancer returning as non treatable bone cancer. Pastor Boerger is the pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Texas.

BEND IN THE ROAD 2 Corinthians 12:7-11

SOME PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: You say, well I’ve not had many disruptive moments - just hang on - you will! And that’s not a morbid outlook on life. Optimist or pessimist? Realist!

1) Disruptive moments are often divine appointments - Satan's angel did his best to get me down. Reality is that God gave him permission. When Satan wanted to buffet Job, he could only do what God gave permission for him to do. Satan can only do the damage that God will allow. These moments come from God! Not clear? Then we’ll feel violated.

A letter from God to a child: I have a message for you it is short, only 5 words, but let it be a pillar on which to lean, “This thing is from me”. When temptations come, “this thing is from me”, Finances? “This thing is from me” I will give supply. Sorrow? “This thing is from me” I understand. Friends forsake you? I’ll never leave you! Divine Interruptions are divine instructions. As long as you can see me you’ll make it. “This thing is from me”

“This thing is from me” Was God caught off guard when the cancer prognosis came? Did he turn to an angel and say, look what happened to the Boerger family? What’s going on? No! From the very moment a cancer cell developed in her body God was there.
This principle I do not like - but I share it!

2) Progress without pain is NOT possible - It’s easy to get caught in our own agenda, but until a dynamic intervention comes it’s hard to hear God. I’ll get to it tomorrow - today is busy. Friends this is not a convenient time for my wife to have cancer. I’m convinced her influence and ministry as a hospice nurse is more needed and important than ever. I need her. We have future plans.. But maybe this is the best time in God’s bigger scheme of things.

One of the great tragedies in life is people getting caught up moving faster and forgetting the important things. A lot of jobs I had as a carpenter in Austin was in newer homes that had been hastily built - and not correctly.
But you see, there must be a way to get priorities straight. It’s hard! And so God zaps.... Once again I’m reminded that things don’t matter. That family is important, that my relationship with God is paramount.

When someone has no trouble, then I’m looking at a shallow person. When a storm comes it reveals loose shutters, rotten posts, loose shingles.

3) Promise of God is the provision of his grace. - God walks with us. He sent his son to die for me, to be my savior, your savior, and that’s the big deal, the big priority.

4) Disruptive moments produce growth - plants need a bit of wind, a few storms to send down the roots into a deep and good places.

5) What we receive depends on how we respond - We can be mad. We can give up, lie down and quit living. Or we can say, Lord teach me; teach me things that I could never have learned any other way. Not “why me?”, But Lord, I will not be the same person. I will learn from this.

I can tell you that you will never see life the same again. When Vonda first got cancer it changed everything. The moon is brighter. The sun is more brilliant. The golden waving wheat is more wonderful.

Helen Steiner Rice, “Bend in the Road”:
Sometimes we come to life’s crossroads and we view what we think is the end. But God has a much wider vision and he knows it’s only a bend. The road will go on and get smoother and after we’ve stopped for a rest, the path that lies hidden beyond us is often the path that is best. So rest and relax and grow stronger. Let go and let God share your load. Have faith in a brighter tomorrow. You’ve just come to a bend in the road.

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