Do You ‘Save’ Seats At Church?

After reading I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom Rainer, I told myself I’d never save seats at church.  If I had friends or family meeting me at church, but someone wanted the seats next to me I was never going to say, “These seats are saved.”  I’d happily say, “the seats are yours.”

Well, yesterday, my aunt and I got to church a little early.  My friend, his wife, and three kids were going to meet us there, so my aunt and I got some seats.  I told my aunt I don’t save seats.  Well, she left a space between me and sat down.

More and more people started coming down the aisles looking for seats.  I prefer end seats so when I’m singing and moving around I’m not bumping into anyone.  In our row some people took the opposite end (I’m guessing there’s about 12-15 seats per row). 

There was a row behind me I noticed one man sat down directly behind me.  Then the whole middle was open, from the man behind me until about 3 people on the opposite end.

As people started getting seats a couple game down and looked in our row and asked to come in.  So, of course we let them.  It was odd, because the row behind us had all those empty seats… but it was ok.  I figured when my friend comes with his family my aunt and I would give our seats to them and then we’d go find two seats nearby.

Funny… my friends are nowhere in sight.  They’re running late!  Ahhh…

I see people coming in looking around for seats, finding what little seats are left.

 Well, at about 30 seconds until the start of service I see them.  They came over by me and, to our surprise, there was still the whole middle section of the row behind us left open.  Every other row was filled except that row.  So, my friends got to sit down behind us without a hitch.  Amazing…

It got me thinking, did people not see the empty row?  Were they really blinded to the fact that row was empty?  What was going on I thought!!!

Then it hit me.  I wondered if it was a test from God.  You know, because I said I’d never save seats, but this couple wanted them so God was going to see what I was going to do about it.  And, by me not saving the seats, did God save the empty row behind us for my friend and his family?

Were there angels in that row that everyone else saw, so they thought the seats were taken?

I don’t know.  But, it was definitely a miracle from God.  Even if it was nothing major like seats… But still, it had me wondering…

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” -Colossians 3:16

Keep spreading the Word!

Roadblocks… More Than Just An Inconvenience

I hate it when I come to a roadblock… whether it’s an actual road that’s blocked or a roadblock in life, I just hate them!

But… they maybe more than just an inconvenience… it could be a roadblock from God to redirect your ways.

I was recently reading Numbers, and came across the story about Balaam’s donkey.

Now Balaam was a magician, and Balak, the king of Moab at the time, had summoned Balaam to put a curse on Israel because Balak feared the Israelites.

God did not want Balaam to go, but after the second time that Balak summoned him, God said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.” (Numbers 22:20)

Numbers 22:21-33

Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.  But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him.  Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.  When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field.  Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides.  When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it.  So he beat her again.

Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left.  When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff.  Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me!  If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day?  Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?

“No,” he said.

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn.  So he bowed low and feel facedown.

The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times?  I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.  The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times.  If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”

Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned.  I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me.”

What an amazing story.

Balaam, not understanding what the donkey was doing, beat her when she didn’t stay on the path.  Little did he know his donkey saw the angel of the Lord with a drawn sword standing in the middle of the road.  And, if the donkey would have went straight ahead without avoiding the angel of the Lord, Balaam would have been killed and the donkey spared.

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes and he saw the angel of the Lord with his sword drawn.  Yikes!  Now he sees the whole picture.

This story really spoke to me.  We all have roadblocks in our lives, many not by our choosing.  But they’re there for a reason, and we’re usually blinded by the meaning of the roadblock.

Who knows, you could be in a hurry for work but forgot your important documents you need, so you turn around to go home and get them.  Then you come back and the highway is backed up because of an accident.  Hmmm…. Maybe you were going to be in that accident, but the Lord had you forget your important papers, and then had you turn around to get them so you’d avoid being killed in the accident.  Who knows…

So, my advice, ask God to keep your eyes open when roadblocks come into your life so you can see the bigger picture.  Or, if you can’t see the bigger picture, just know it just may be God’s doing to protect you.

Keep spreading the Word!