I was chatting with some people a few minutes before church and up walked Cody to me with a big grin and a bag in his hand. He had bagged a nice eight point buck last week and he handed me a package of venison from his deer and on the outside of the package it had my name and the description of “Preacher’s Meat” on it. Apparently the best meat was traditionally given years ago to the pastor of the church by the guys getting their deer. This has been a kind of inside joke around the church with some of us this deer season, hence the grin. Then as church began in walked some new people to our Wednesday night service, well not new to us just the Bible study then. A special couple who joined our church this year came out then for their first time. And I was told by the husband they would be starting to come out then now. With both these things happening, needless to say, I was encouraged.
Sometimes it seems, we chug along through life and things are difficult, stressful, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of encouragement. Life here can be trying as you well know by now. But if you look for it and even when you don’t ( sometimes it just comes up and grins at you), you are refreshed and behind it all is the loving hand of the Savior ! He has engineered the situation, He has changed the hearts and He is seeking to uplift and mold us through it all. I appreciated the gesture Cody and his Dad extended, I know they like venison too, ha. But they gave me their sacrifice. But behind that God was at work in them. Remember what Paul said of the Philippians and their sacrifice for him? “But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice well pleasing to God.” (4:18). Beyond the “preacher’s meat” it’s been a delight to have led Cody to Christ as a boy and watch him grow into a spiritual young man !
And then to see Nate & Nikki grow in their faith and see God’s hand in their lives is a special encouragement as well. Is it a wonder Paul would write such things to his converts and disciplees like, “we give thanks to God always for you all, makikng mention of you in our prayers” (1Thess.1:2). To lay my head on my pillow at night and pray for various people in our church and think of how encouraging they are is in itself an encouragement from God. So if you are down in some way today, look for, no, expect the grin from God through others and your circumstances. He’s there, and He’s aware of YOU and just what you need and when you need it !! Those positive signs from the Lord are your “preacher’s meat” !!