Such a blessing to be a guest in someone’s home. Not always, but usually. Psalm 39:12–‘Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers (ESV translation)’. A sojourner, a guest. As the song says, ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through’. Life is so short. Here today, gone tomorrow. Our permanent address is not here in this old world. We’re migrants passing through.
My first church was in South Dakota, in Onida at the Immanuel Mennonite Brethren Church. It was late summer, at the beginning of harvest. Many of the migrant workers came to church after helping harvest wheat. They had begun in their native Mexico, coming right up through Texas, Kansas, to the Dakotas and then into Canada. They were just passing through, working hard, and now taking time to worship our Lord.
Like our life, passing through, working hard and worshipping our Lord. After seminary, I served three churches for a grand total of nine years. That phase of my life ended with a rather loud crash. Well, that’s that. A chapter ended. Probably the last chapter of that incomplete book. But I wondered… How? When? Where? Questions I’d very quietly ask the Lord.
In the year 2000, I received a call to pastor a little church with a big heart…right in the same town where I had been living and working for over 20 years! Had no connection with their denomination… and no desire to be! No credentials. What I discovered was amazing. I didn’t need any! This was truly a congregational body, making all its own decisions by the vote and will of its members. For better or for worse! And I stayed with this church family for 14 years.
God had His plan… and I was part of it! Imagine that! But, time to move on and retire. I was a ‘guest’ there with those precious people. At the lower left-hand corner of every pay check was written this: ‘Guest Speaker’! For fourteen years?! That’s what it said! Fourteen years as a welcomed guest into their lives and hearts. Pretty good, huh? Those fourteen years flew by.
In this life, we’re all guests when we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. ‘Just a passin’ through’! This is not our permanent home. Not at all. Doesn’t it feel that way to you? Does to me. So, enjoy the ride and the scenery. Enjoy the journey. For the next phase will be forever. That’s why it’s called paradise. For truly that is what it will be!
Prayer: Lord, for hosting us in this life, we thank you. We want to be the best guests you’ve ever had! In Jesus’ name. Amen.