Words of Encouragement

Archive for February, 2012


Right next door to our home is a church.  It wasn’t always a church though.  Once those four walls held a grocery store called the CO-OP.

I used to send my children on emergency trips for a loaf of bread or a carton of milk.  We knew the staff well.  Once when I arrived at the counter with a birthday card for my mother the clerk said “your sister already bought that same card for your mother, go get another one.”  I still chuckle about that one.

When the grocery store closed, it was a joy to see a church move in and extensively renovate that building for a new purpose.  However, I have a small problem … whenever I am a guest in that church I can’t stop thinking about it in grocery store terms.  You see, when I visit, I usually slip in the back door that is near my home and sit in the “produce department.”  The platform area is in the old “dry goods” section.  (Sorry pastors, nothing implied here).

The grocery theme has a lot to teach us though.  Sometimes when I am sitting back there in the “produce department” I wonder if I am growing and producing fruit the way that I should.  Am I reading the meat of His word and following the plan that He has laid out for my life?  Am I in a vegetable state?  Sometimes I just go into survival mode, not feeling much of anything, and just trying to get through the day.  Do I count on Him for my daily bread or do I just run to Him when I am almost out of supplies like when I sent the children for bread and milk?

My husband and I are on a team that has the privilege of working in the counselling centre.  The counselling area lies behind the “Frozen Food section.”  Perhaps you are temporarily frozen by a difficult season in your life.  Sometimes people go through tough times and just need a little extra help to be restored.  God our mighty healer can be found there as well.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

I think I have resided in most of the departments at one time or another in my life.   I have spent seasons in dry goods and needed to allow God to move me from a stagnant state to being filled with His Spirit.  I think many of us are sitting out in the storage area waiting for someone to pull us out of our boxes to discover and use our gifts for His Kingdom purpose.  Perhaps you have made a big mess of things. Yes, we all do, no one is exempt.  The best person to call for a “clean up on aisle three” is our gracious merciful heavenly Father.  He can make all things clean again but we have to trust Him and let Him do His work when He arrives with the mop and the broom.

I am truly sorry for all of the corny puns (well actually I’m not really). Our local co-op grocery store is gone and the building serves a different purpose now.  However, I think it still houses a co-op just the same.  We are working together in this co-op to further His kingdom. Regardless of the building, we as people are His church. We encourage each other in our journey and pray for each other.  We co-operate with God as we yield to His will and purpose for us, both as individuals and as part of our co-op.  So the next time you come, fill up your cart with all of His wonderful promises.  God will meet us in any department we find ourselves in, just the way we are, and remember, we are not on this journey alone.

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”  John 6:27

By Cyndi den Otter

February 26, 2012

Copyright 2012 February 26 Cyndi den Otter – All Rights Reserved May be used with author’s permission