A Benediction

Just last week we sat in a living room filled with living, breathing giants. Five retired missionary couples among them. And while I’m sure they are merely human and bleed like the rest of us, extreme discipleship in unfamiliar lands has certainly shaped their lives.

We had joined them for their evening study, and at the same time we were waiting for the text that would tell us if we were linking arms with these saints, and their fellow brothers and sisters, or not. They knew we were waiting. I listened for the buzz, and may have unknowingly held my breath.

It came, a unanimous vote of welcome. We smiled, they congratulated, and then those muscular Christians, so long tested in battle and faith, gave us a gift. They sang.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise him all creatures here below

Praise him above ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Praise him indeed! Their uplifted voices bathed us with grace, healing wounds, offering a benediction.

Chris and I are learning, still, how to run our race. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the helping hands of those who have labored long and intimately understand the journey. I pray that the gift of that benediction, those words of praise, will sharply mark our years in our new church home. As much prophesy as praise. I pray that every moment would be seen as a blessing flowing from God, that our voices would join in praise with creatures above and below, that we would worship, fellowship with, and serve Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Mostly I pray that our daily lives would be a doxology, a benediction poured out over the body of Jesus.

We will stumble and disappoint, our humanity always catches up to us. But I trust in those moments there will be grace given and received, like a benediction prayed over one another’s lives.

Whose feet are you washing with your grace, whose life are cheering with songs of praise?

In the next few weeks our family needs to sell a house, pack our belongings, find a new place to live, say goodbye, and settle our kids in school. We would love for you to join us in prayer for God’s provision and grace in these matters.

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