“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Command the people of Israel and say to them,“When you enter the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan, as defined by its borders.”(Numbers 34:1–2)
So I read this and I picture God saying to his people, “Okay, I’m gonna lead this next generation into the Promised Land, and I’m gonna make clear what the borders of that land are that I am giving to you. It is your inheritance. I’m gonna call you to experience life within these borders, to enjoy life in my blessing in this place.”
And I think about my life. Think about your life. God has uniquely given a stewardship to each of us. So it’s not the exact same, obviously, as the Promised Land here, but God has given … for example, I think in my life, God has given me a wife, four children, a job in the church that’s a pastor, and other opportunities for ministry. He’s given me physical resources, he’s given me grace gifts. He’s given me much, so much. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. He’s given me so much. And so how can I honor him with whathe’s given to me? He said, “This is what I’ve given to you. Experience life and then honor me with it.”
So think about your life. What has He given to you? And I think about it. Even the hard things he’s given to us. So maybe … I was having a conversation with a brother recently who is single and who really has a desire to be married. But God has given him singleness at this point in his life. He was saying, “I’d like to be married, but I wanna glorify God with my singleness as long as he gives that to me.” So that’s just one example. There are many other examples. I think about somebody I was talking with recently. Numerous people in the church that I talk with who had cancer. That’s not a gift that anyone has asked for. I think about somebody whose spouse just died. That was not a gift anyone asked for. I actually read and wrote just kind of a side blurb for a book recently on an unwanted gift, and specifically that unwanted gift is the loss of a spouse. The book’s just about walking through that struggle.
So God gives us things like that too. But there’s a stewardship with all of these things, where God puts us, places us in our lives, the things he gives to us, people, resources, circumstances, and we are all called to steward those things that come from his hand for his glory and in the process. He’s designed them all, even the hardest things, for us to experience his goodness in our lives, to experience his provision, his strength, his peace, his comfort, his protection.
And so we pray. God, you have put us in all kinds of different circumstances right now. You’ve given us all kinds of different gifts. You’ve given us all kinds of different challenges. And God, in a 1 Thessalonians kind of way, we give thanks for all these things. In all circumstances we give thanks. Even the things it’s hardest to give thanks for. And we pray. We pray with all that you’ve given to us, right now, today, that you would help us to honor you, to glorify you with all that you’ve entrusted to us. God, please may it be so in my life. Please may it be so in all those who are praying this right now. God, with where you’ve placed us, where you’ve put us right now, help us to live for your glory. And help us to experience your blessing amidst all that you’ve entrusted to us right now. Help us to live with intimacy with you and with faithful responsibility before you with all that you’ve entrusted to us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.