“For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19
Paul had an interesting take on what he looked forward to in the coming kingdom. His focus seemed to be less about him and more about those who mentored and strengthened. What was Paul’s hope? His Joy? His future crown? Those churches he planted and strengthened.
In the pregnancy help community, we may not be planting churches. But we are acting as the church, in many ways . . .
Paul mentions in his first letter to the Corinthians, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” Sometimes we overlook the importance of planting. We immediately wish to see fruit, but we will never see fruit unless we plant, plant . . . and plant again.
In our ministries, we do this in various ways. Sometimes it is through a kind word at the receptionist’s desk, or a word of encouragement in a private room. It might be through a moment in the ultrasound room when we say only, “You can do this. I believe in you, and God believes in you, too.”
If we plant enough, there will be fruit. And this fruit can be a Crown of Our Exultation we may not see in the here and now.
Just like Apollos in Paul’s letter to Corinth, we water—more than we realize. Remember that encouraging word? Sometimes it is a seed, sometimes it is water to the soul. When the abused or the hurting seek our help, the one need is water, which provides growth to a seed which is languishing in drought.
Each day then, we not only plant. We water as well. Enough water leads to consistent growth which we may see in our Earn While You Learn setting, a Bible study or when we spend time with our dads.
As we move toward the close of 2018, let’s keep planting and keep watering.
Paul had a hope and a joy. And, he looked forward to a crown of exultation. While we can’t properly define this crown, we do know everything in Paul’s life started with those he served.
We serve. We keep reaching out. And we believe somehow, what we do makes a difference.
If we stay committed, I believe there will be a moment we cannot quite fathom. At that moment, we will see everything God accomplished through us. When this happens, I’m guessing there will be the joy of surprise, and the realization that everything we hope for (and more) took place.
Perhaps it is just me, but when this happens for Paul, I can see him clenching his fists, then punching his arms in the air and saying, “Yesssss!” All the labor, all the sacrifice, all the prayers . . . coming to fruition.
If this can take place for Paul, why not us? As 2019 begins then, let’s grab some seeds. We’ve got a crown to win.
by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
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