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Storms have a purpose...

The Vineyard

Dear Friends:

Sometimes I write these blogs and then, after a few minutes erase everything and start over again. Such was my Saturday night. With these four young men living in my home, my life there are days I don’t know if I am coming or going! Our house is full of bathos and pathos.  But my work has become so much more enriched and tested because of it! I could write about what they are teaching me and reminding me of each day!  But since the fire that destroyed all I owned two years ago, I have similarly found myself “remembering”  things I once thought I knew quite well, but somehow forgot or have gave up on, or turned my back on.

I never lost my faith nor did I  take up a different concept to God; but conflicts, broken-heartedness, and, quite frankly, suffering, has brought me back to things basic in my walk with Jesus Christ.  Suffering has a dual purpose, I now believe: That I might be purified and Jesus Christ might be glorified through it.

This really does simplify it, doesn’t it. And I am not suggesting that God delights in our suffering so that His Son is glorified, but rather that God chooses to purify me and elevate me in being His tool to draw attention to His Son, Jesus. God takes great pleasure in me when  I become that willing instrument of turning the spotlight and admiration to His only Son.  And it seems that I am far more in tune to His intentions when things do not go my way, and I forced to seek His face, His favor and His shelter.  Good times never draw me to Him—they tend to drag me away.

And so today when one of the boys lost control when I refused to purchase him an expensive toy, and another boy forget his solemn promise that he just made to me less than a minute ago, and another behaved as if he could care less what I thought of him, I was reminded of what I have always known:  That I have broken some of my vows to God; that I am ever asking for God’s blessing but often shirk from being a blessing back to Him; that I often act as if I don’t think He is aware of my inner and secret thoughts and intentions, etc.

God gave me these boys, my ministry at The Vineyard and my place in this church for one sole purpose: The Jesus is glorified. Is that happening or am I acting like an adolescent?   Is it happening at our cafe, in our morning worship, at our deacons meetings, at our youth meetings tonight?  Am I glorifying Him by the way that I accept the disappointments of the young men in my home, as I endure insults, resistance, unkindness, disappointments, personal failures, and so forth?

He is more than able to provide for us a perfectly flawless life with no headaches or heartaches,  but He works most profoundly in the storms and personal upheavals of life—not in tranquil and serene interruptions of life!  Has God allowed a storm into  your life this week—-then glorify Jesus and watch God elevate you!


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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