Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blessing of Preparation

The father and his 18 year old son had been preparing for months for this difficult hike. They had exercised, bought the right hiking gear, gathered the right food, mapped out the route they would be taking. It would take 8 hours of hard hiking, but those who had gone before said it would be worth the investment. It was 6 hours from home, so they had driven up into the mountains the night before and stayed at a little hotel on the edge of town.
In the morning they were up before dawn having breakfast and loading their things. Right as the sun came above the horizon they started the trail that would lead them deep into the forest. It was tough. Difficult. Exhausting. Sometimes a little dangerous, but by noon they had already seen more incredible scenery and wildlife than they could have imagined. Now they just had one last place to see before they headed back. As they came around the final bend in this deep valley they finally saw it. It was amazing the towering waterfall that seemed to go up forever. The water crashed into a lake that was clearer than any they had ever seen. The fish, the turtles, the plantlife, the colors, the . . .  all hidden away only for those who were willing to pay the price to come. They stayed for a  while wondering if heaven was going to be like this and then got back on the trail that would lead them to the car. At around 4:00 PM they finally finished the hike. They were exhausted but it had been so worth it. They would never forget this day.

As they finished loading the car another vehicle drove up. A father and two sons climbed out. You could tell very quickly that they weren't ready. They had forgotten to get a map. They were talking of doing the hike quick enough so that they could get back in time for dinner.  The younger son wanted to stay in the car and watch a movie while the others went on the hike.  The father walked over and starting asking questions. He had been on this hike when he was young and remembered how incredible it had been. He now wanted to share it with his sons that he only got to see one weekend a month. They lived about 20 minutes away and he was hoping that they could just have a good afternoon together. 

He had picked them up late because of a business meeting, but was just hoping they would have enough time to make some special memories. The more that he heard about the hike, and what it would demand, how long it would take, and what was needed he realized there it was impossible for them. He finally turned away, disappointed, knowing that he just wasn't prepared. They got back in their car, turned on the movie and drove away. . . The father in his  disappointment and the sons watching their movie not knowing that they had just missed one of the greatest experiences of their lives. . . They just weren't prepared

Are we prepared for God to work mightily in and through us? God desires to do more than we could ask or imagine, but are we prepared in our lives and in our ministries to receive all that God desires for us. Are we allowing God to shape us into people who are surrendered, dependent, and truly bless-able, or are we missing God’s best because our hearts and our methods are not truly His? Count the cost then surrender yourselves for God's best. There is a price to be paid, but the rewards will be well worth it.

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