Saved for the glory of God

umbrellamaineA few weeks ago, Diane and I went to visit Matt in Providence, RI.  He is staying in Providence for the summer working for a professor.  We helped him clean out his dorm room.  We ran across a frilly umbrella that was an odd thing for him to have in his possession.  As his story goes, he picked up the umbrella one day along a street somewhere that had been put out for trash.  He told us to go ahead and throw it away.  It was a pretty umbrella that we decided to take with us for Diane.  She used it on a rainy day along the water while we were in Maine.  We brought it back to West Virginia with us when we came home.  We ended up taking it to Buckhannon last week for the Annual Conference of the UMC because we were expecting rain.  We had no clue the plans God had for this umbrella.

There’s a committee that plans all the worship services at conference.  After the sermon for the memorial worship (when we remember clergy and spouses that have died in the last year), the musicians were going to play and sing, “When the Saints Go Marching In”.  One of the people on the committee had this idea to have the preacher for the memorial worship dance around with an umbrella as a celebratory time that we remember death has no sting, that Jesus defeated death and gives us victory.  As they talked about an umbrella to use, Diane said she had the perfect one.  That’s the umbrella they used.

DSCN0589The umbrella that was once destined for the trash heap, bound for a dump in New England, was instead being used in front of perhaps 1,000 people to bring glory to God 13 hours away from where it was a few weeks ago.  But the umbrella was not the star.  And Dr. Wilson was not the star.  They were both instruments, being used by the Holy Spirit to bring glory to God.

We, who call Jesus our Savior, are not so unlike that umbrella.  We were once bound for a trash heap of our own.  But by God’s grace, we have inexplicably been plucked from the undesirable destination that awaited us and are now called children of the King.  We are sons and daughters of God.  Jesus calls us friend!  Ephesians 1:11 says, “…we have obtained an inheritance.”  And if we will allow Him, He will use us in ways we can’t begin to imagine to bring glory to Himself.

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