As I drive around this community I see the harvest all around our community. I have seen potential for growth and expansion. Jabez is known for his prayer to God in which he asked God to expand his territory and protect him from pain. In Israel’s culture every name must have a meaning. When Jabez was born his mother named him Jabez because she “gave birth to him in pain.” Women know that childbearing causes some pain and Jabez’s mom experienced so much pain to the point she named her son with a specific name that reminded her the pain she endured while giving birth. When a woman is giving birth she endures pain during contractions, but when a child is born her pain turns into praise. As a Congregation we may sow in pain, but we shall reap in praise.
Even though Jabez was born in pain he was more honorable than his brothers. I do not know if his birth experience caused him to be honorable, but what I know is that anyone who wish to gain does not avoid pain. My focus on this newsletter is more about praying to God for growth and expansion. Oak Grove has potentials for growth and expansion. I have been impressed by worship attendance for the last five weeks. Our community is expanding and I hope and pray that our church will strive to reflect our community.
As seasons change from Summer to Fall I pray that God will continue to enlarge our territory where we reach out to people in our community. I pray that God’s hand will be with everyone who is a part of Oak Grove’s church family. I hope that God will keep us from harm or any pain that would undermine our growth and expansion. I have no doubt that God has so much in store for us. God who granted Jabez his request will grant our church and families what we request because God is faithful.
Rev. Innocent Justice