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Pray for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

August 23, 2008
By The Rev. Robert L. Baer Sr., Beverly and Valley Bend United Methodist Churches

We live in a world of blessings far beyond what we can ever proclaim. We begin life as indestructible individuals who think of our life as eternal on this earth until illness brings us down. We forget to pray for the best and be thankful for God's joys he places all around us until that dreadful day when we find ourselves facing a catastrophic illness that we never dreamed could happen to us or our family member. We forget to give thanks for daily joys from God. We take things for granted. When you look around, what do you see? A home, a family, food on your table, children you love and who love you, friends, a church family who love you more than you will ever know. We pray but we forget the simple treasures God has blessed us with.

We are going into a season when God paints the hills with beauty for our eyes to behold. We go into the season of Thanksgiving sometimes thinking only of earthly pleasures such as food and gatherings of family and forgetting that all we have is a blessing from God. Our prayers should be filled with thanks for all these things and also for the blessings to come especially blessings for our fellow man. Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Pray for the best for all and give thanks for every blessing. If you just take the time to sit down and write each blessing for one day, I believe you will be surprised at all you have written down. God expects to hear from you daily, hourly and continually, for God wants your blessings to be enjoyed and to hear a simple thank Lord for those blessings.

In the past week, we have been blessed with the birth of a grandchild, Alyssa Lynn, who was seven weeks early. She is healthy and doing great and such a blessing is a gift from God.

Now let's talk about preparing for the worst. What is the worst? What could happen to you that would turn your world totally around? A sick child, a spouse diagnosed with an incurable illness, a loved one dying suddenly, the loss of your job, marriage problems and there are many more. How do you prepare for these earthly problems. If you don't know Jesus, preparing for the worst is impossible. Jesus said, "Come to me all ye who are heavy laden and I will give you rest." That's a big statement for anyone to make as a promise. Jesus made that promise to all and is ready to back it up but then the ball is in our court. If we prepare for the worst by our faith in Jesus Christ, that promise will carry us through anything that this world places before us.

It is human nature to want only joys in this life but somewhere the harshness of sickness and pain finds us all. We ask, God how can this happen? They are such good people and don't deserve what is happening to them. How could you let this happen? We are born into a life of joy and pain, and from our birth, we all know that the day will come when we must leave this world in death. Prepare for the worst. Yes, we must leave this world but that is a blessing if we are prepared. Jesus died on a cross for that very reason. He prepared the way that even the worst on this earth can be the best in an everlasting kingdom with our creator.

David wrote in Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Prepare for the worst and God will give you the best even in death. Get that Bible down and dust it off and seriously read from it. Listen to what God has to say to you and pray always everywhere and your worst will become the best and that's a blessing we all need and want. God wants to bless you and me so keep your faith strong and don't let Satan deprive you of one joy. Give thanks for a life filled with joys and keep your eyes on Jesus and that final joy will be the blessing far beyond anything upon this earth. God bless you.

(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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