Granbury First UMC Blog Posts

Lent Devotionals: Tuesday, April 4

In Weakness We Are Strong

I am incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work with the children here at Granbury First. I am also incredibly humbled. It doesn’t take long in working with kids to realize that although they are no where near ready to take care of themselves, they have an incredible amount of strength in their little versions of their future selves.
You see when you witness a 3 or 4 year old place their hands on the hands or heads of other children and tell them they are special and that they are loved by Jesus, you realize that God is working in powerful ways. These children don’t need prompting, they freely and loving jump at the chance to be the one to perform these tasks.
Each Wednesday as we have lessons and crafts/activities set out for them to accomplish, it amazes me that they are not as concerned with crafts and activities.  They don’t tire of reading the scriptures each week.  They enjoy the questions that make them think deeper about what we read.  These children love having the opportunity to talk about their joys and their concerns.  They love praying together and lifting those joys and concerns up to God.  They don’t complain that prayer time might have taken up the time for crafts and activities.
Listening to them share stories about standing up to friends who treat other kids badly, listening as you know they are going through the heartbreak of loss and they only ask for prayers for someone that they love, and listening as they share their trials and watching as the other children encourage them.  You see in their weakness the wonderful strength of God works in wondrous ways.
They do not boast, it all comes naturally to them.  I like to say we (adults) are called to be like them, they are not called to be like us.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t get tears in my eyes as I witness their compassion and their love.  Through those tear filled eyes, I pray that God helps me to be like them.
May you freely and lovingly lose yourself during this Lenten season so that you can witness God’s strength in your weakness.    Ponder the question, what would our church look like if we approached it with the wonder, excitement, and awe of a child?
 
Karen Cooper
Children’s Ministry Director


Lent Devotionals: Monday, April 3

2 Corinthians 12:1-10

1 It is necessary to brag, not that it does any good. I’ll move on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don’t know whether it was in the body or out of the body. God knows. 34 I know that this man was caught up into paradise and that he heard unspeakable words that were things no one is allowed to repeat. I don’t know whether it was in the body or apart from the body. God knows. 5 I’ll brag about this man, but I won’t brag about myself, except to brag about my weaknesses. 6 If I did want to brag, I wouldn’t make a fool of myself because I’d tell the truth. I’m holding back from bragging so that no one will give me any more credit than what anyone sees or hears about me. 7 I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited. 8 I pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me alone. 9 He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. 10 Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.
 

MEDITATION

“I was given a thorn in my body because of the outstanding revelations I’ve received so that I wouldn’t be conceited.”  

Nowhere is it written what this metaphorical “thorn” is in Paul’s side.  Perhaps, in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Paul prayed to God three times to remove the thorn.  Have you ever wondered why God wouldn’t remove the “thorn?”  Did God even want to remove the “thorn?”  Did God want Paul to be in constant pain?  Did God simply want to keep Paul from thinking too highly of himself?  Did God want to remind him that, though his words and actions led thousands to Christ, he didn’t do it alone?  
 
How do you handle the “thorns” in our life?  What do you do with the things that cause us pain?  Do you pray to God to remove them?  Do you complain if the relief you’ve asked for doesn’t appear to come?  Does the way Paul responded affect your thoughts or the way you view your “thorns?”
 

Prayer:

 
Merciful and mighty God, I pray that you keep us from all that causes us pain and sorrow in this world.  I pray for the grief stricken, for the tormented, for the ill and the lame, for the hungry and the poor; may your bountiful strength and mercy remove our afflictions.  But not our will but thine be done.  

Should we remain in our distressed state, give us the comfort we need to see it through and to know that your grace is sufficient enough for us, that your power is made perfect in our weakness.