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Minister’s Message: Embracing the awaiting awe

It is a common practice for me to share words of encouragement with those who find themselves in need of medical attention

I have the great privilege to serve as a chaplain at Central Peninsula Hospital. It is a common practice for me to share words of encouragement with those who find themselves in need of medical attention.

As I was preparing to visit patients, I reflected on a Bible verse I was sent to focus on that day. The verse is from a letter Paul wrote to the Corinthian church where he was passionately encouraging them to seek wisdom and understanding from God.

Paul cites a passage from the book of Isaiah as he describe the mystery of God’s transcendent power that is available for all followers who are seeking the mind of Christ. The Scripture emphasizes that there are things God will do that are beyond human understanding: “’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ (Isaiah 64:4) — the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 5:9).

I pondered this passage and set off to interact with my first patient of the day. As I entered the room, I could sense the timeliness of the visit. The elderly patient lay there gasping for air and fixed on what was coming. I inquired about what was important to them, and they declared, “I just can’t wait to see Jesus!”

I asked to share the verse I had been contemplating and the patient said, “Please, do.”

As I read the Scripture, we both settled on the point that God had prepared something great ahead for them and we concluded that heaven was not so far off. A longing peace overtook them as I prayed about their heavenly homecoming. I left their room with the confidence that God has a plan and eternal purpose beyond this earthly life.

I next visited a glowing mother who had just given birth the day before. The attending father beamed with joy about their new child and they were basking in the blessing of their little one.

As we talked about the baby and the meaning of their name, I offered to share this same Scripture.

Once again, as I read the passage I was struck with the idea that this little one has not just the opportunity to be in relationship with their Creator, but God has prepared a divine plan for those who love him. Will they face difficulties, challenges and roadblocks? Of course, they will, but if they have the mind of Christ, they can have insights and direction into the unfolding of God’s purpose for their lives and be part of that plan.

In both cases there is awe awaiting those who are in Christ and seeking him. They may be just starting their life on earth or concluding it and close to glory. God’s transcendent plans and purposes are available to those seeking the mind of Christ and these insights and knowledge even surpass human understanding.

Have you embraced the awaiting awe?

Frank Alioto is the pastor of Roots Family Church (907-252-0036) and serves as a chaplain in our community.

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