I took my grandsons back to Michigan this past week. It was difficult saying goodbye to them knowing that I probably won’t see them again until next summer. My son Matt was also there, and we enjoyed our short visit with him when he came out and brought Ethan in August. I flew out to Detroit on Tuesday and back to Trenton on Wednesday and was saddened to say goodbye to unique grandsons. But as I was sharing last week on my blog it has been a rather remarkable summer with many specia
l occasions. Our family vacation in Michigan included a stay in a three-bedroom home on the 20-acre private lake that had been gifted to us last summer when we blessed one of our missionaries in northwestern Michigan. I have previously blogged about that and what a remarkable gift we had received. God showed up for another surprising gift this summer. I had the privilege to plan a church outing with 12 of us from NDC to a Somerset Patriot game on July 26. My planning this outing was just so that we could experience a good time of fellowship with one another and the joy of each other’s company. Imagine my surprise when my wife Deb was selected to be the sweetheart of the game for the Patriots. This meant that she would receive a coupon for a one- night stay in a hotel in Somerset. Of all the ladies that could have been selected Deb was the one who was chosen. Which just reminds me what a very special lady she is. I consider this another precious gift from the giver of all good gifts, our Heavenly Father.
Scripture tells us- “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thess. 5:18 NASB). Some things are easier to give thanks for than others, but every occasion in our lives is an opportunity to rejoice in our God and Savior Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the kindness of God that was seen once again in this unusual selection of Deb on July 26. My heart was blessed to see her honored and I’m thankful that we have an overnighter away for refreshment and relaxation. This is very helpful after our hectic and busy summer. Having my grandsons come and stay with us is a beautiful and challenging time, but it is not relaxing. Yes, some of the things that we did were quite relaxing, but it seems that a 13-year-old and 9-year-old very much want to stay busy all the time and we frequently heard the statement, “I’m bored.” So having an overnighter planned away with my wife at the end of the summer courtesy of the Patriots is a real special blessing. We ought never to overlook the kindness and care of our great God who provides for us in so many unusual ways. Paul writes to the Romans and says – “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4 NASB). God’s kindness is an overwhelming gift that we should never take lightly or for granted.
Even as we reflect on Labor Day this weekend, it’s good to be reminded that God is the author of all the blessings that we have here as American citizens. God is the one who has chosen to so richly bless us as a nation that most of us go to bed at night with our stomachs full and clean drinking water at our disposal. This a privilege that at least 1 billion people on earth don’t have. As Deb and I celebrate our summer together with an overnighter, we can be truly grateful for the profound kindness of God and all that He has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. I hope this Labor Day will find you rejoicing in the kindness and goodness of our God. Remember the above verse tells us that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. When we reflect on how awesome God is and all the blessings that He has poured into our lives should we not with hearts and lives rejoice to He who is the creator and giver of all good gifts. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity occasion to go to Patriots game this past summer with some of my church friends. As I was purchasing the tickets, I could not have imagined that God would so richly bless even this simple act of wanting to share a special occasion with my church family. But once again God shows up in all the moments and mysteries of life. I hope that you’re experiencing His goodness and kindness and that God will use His love to draw you into even a closer relationship based on gratitude and thanksgiving. All praise to our great Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ who leads us into every good work.
Pastor Rich Sivo