{May 23, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

God Sees You Through

By Meghan Hemenway

Last winter we had a sermon at Heartland about going through fire. This was one of the last services I attended in person because soon after the global lockdown hit us here too. I had already entered a personal season of trial so it was one of those times the sermon feels like it was written just for me. We heard about giant sequoia trees which are the biggest trees on earth growing to over 200 feet tall and 60 feet wide. They can live and grow for thousands of years. But they need fire to live, to keep growing. The fire does three important things: it opens up some of the tree canopy to let light in for saplings to grow, it clears away the ground cover to make room for seeds to take root, and it warms the pine cones so that they open and release seeds. Destruction of the old is the only way to let new life begin.

Today Brad reminded me of that sermon and the promise I clung to on that day as much as I do today. God will see us through all the tests we face even the ones HE puts us through. And like the seed pods of the sequoia tree, there is no way for us to keep growing without these tests, without the fire. God has a purpose for these trials, but he promises that the rivers will not sweep us away and the fire will not set us ablaze. We will go through tests, but it will make us stronger. The fire allows new growth, but it does not burn down those 200 foot tall trees. It does not weaken their 60 foot wide bases.

For the last year I have prayed that God will make a way for me to take my kids out to see the giant sequoias. In many ways our old life as a family died over the last year and I have had to let go of a lot. I have had to let go of dreams, comfort, security, even the idea of being able to protect or shelter my kids from pain and loss. But I have not let go of the promise that God will see us through. That, I never have to let go. Someday I hope to look up at those giant trees with my boys and show them a tangible, enormous example of what can grow through trials. The trunks of those trees show how powerful it is to let go and trust that God will grow something new out of the ashes.

 

{sunday 5.23.21}

Read Isaiah 43:1-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We belong to God. We are precious to him. What is precious to you? How far would you go to protect this? Can you imagine what great lengths God will go to protect you? What rivers have you passed through? What fires have you walked through? Can you go back and spot the protection and presence of God in those moments?

 

{prayer for the week}

Join us this week in a shared community-wide prayer.

God, you will see me through. Thank you for all the times in the past I can remember, take note of and celebrate today.Thank you for being true to your promises, for bringing us throrugh the river, through the fire, and through all the hard seasons we have faced. Draw my eyes and my mind to you, when things get hard. Help me sense that you are near.

 

{bible reading plan}

By Marnie Vasquez

{monday 5.24.21}

Read Genesis 24:1-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Imagine you’re a servant, whose full-time job is to do whatever your master says. Whether easy, hard, logical or irrational. Imagine your master calls you in, asks you to put your hand under his thigh, then prays to God and then tells you to go to a foreign land to find his daughter a wife. You know you must say yes, and you must carry this through. As you read today’s passage, imagine you’re this servant. How would you feel at each step? How might you position yourself in situations? How might you act? 

{tuesday 5.25.21}

Read Genesis 24:28-49

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Now imagine you’re Laban. You’ve been living your daily, ordinary life, and your family has deep roots connected to God. But remember, this life isn’t like today where there are cities intertwined with hundreds of thousands of people living and interacting all around you. No, this life is more like living on a farm just outside a small town. That’s your livelihood. Now imagine this servant with camels comes along and shares his story with you. What would you think?

{wednesday 5.26.21}

Read Genesis 24:50-67

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As a woman living in today’s times, it’s hard to imagine not choosing my husband or my life’s direction. It’s hard to imagine being Rebekah. But try. You’re Rebekah, whose family has deep roots to God, you love God. This servant with camels arrives, shares this incredible story about your lineage, how God guided him to your family, where your actions at the waterhole are part of this incredible story. And out of all the men your parents have likely debated for you, this servant with his story and all his offerings to your family comes along. What might you think now? Excitement? Adventure? Possibilities? 

{thursday 5.27.21}

Read Genesis 25:1-18

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As I scan through today’s verses, I often wonder if 23andMe or Ancestry.com could link me back to one of these families in the Bible. 

{friday 5.28.21}

Read Genesis 25:19-34

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How easily we throw around words. “Sure, brother, I’ll give up my birthrights, just feed me, I’m hungry!” And then later coming back and saying, “Ha ha ha, just kidding!” In today’s verses that wouldn’t fly. But read the last sentence, Esau had contempt for his birthright meaning he really loathed the idea of it. Why might this be especially knowing he was his father’s favorite? Read today’s verses and see what you might uncover.

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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