The Blessing of Christ

from the Romans reading plan

Romans 15:22-33, Isaiah 52:14-15, Hebrews 2:2-4

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Romans 15:22-33, Isaiah 52:14-15, Hebrews 2:2-4

I like to know what’s coming—what could happen and what my options are. I think constantly about what works and what doesn’t. In short, plans are my jam.

In my final year of seminary, a job opportunity arose. It was one of those really great, safe jobs that worked in all the practical ways. I would have a plan—in case, you know, God didn’t come through. I walked through the interview process until the final meeting, when we were to discuss terms for my employment. That morning I confessed to God that I was more concerned about my five-year plan than His plans for me. Then I did what I knew I had to do: I walked into that last interview and said, “This is just not where I need to be.”

At first, I felt amazing, like that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Anne Hathaway throws her cell phone into the fountain. Life felt extraordinary, like I was jumping off of the proverbial cliff of my ordinary, planned-out life into the unknown. Later, as I sat alone, it hit me: I had no backup plan and only a few months until graduation. Panic set in, and I did what most of us do in crisis. I told absolutely no one that I was struggling.

One Sunday, my friend Laura cornered me at church. She barely had to acknowledge the look on my face before I spilled my doubts and fears of being a failure and a fool. I felt shame. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t even know how I was going to buy groceries that week.

Laura didn’t miss a beat. She saw past the facade and grabbed my arm, looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t have an answer for you. But I can tell you that God is with you. Even when you can’t believe that, I’ll believe it for you.” Laura reminded me of the blessing that is mine as a follower of Jesus—a peace greater than my plans.

Paul’s life was filled with adventure and excitement (think: shipwrecks and jail time) but he, too, was created for community. In Romans 15:23-24, he writes, “I have strongly desired for many years to come to you whenever I travel to Spain. For I hope to see you when I pass through and to be assisted by you for my journey there, once I have first enjoyed your company for a while.” In these moments we catch glimpses of Paul’s ordinary life, even in the midst of extraordinary journeys.

I imagine he felt lonely at times. I wonder if part of him didn’t want to admit his own struggles.

In a moment of need, I didn’t even have the words to ask my friend to pray for me. But Paul’s letter reminds me that gospel community is the life we’re called to. Paul knew firsthand that when we experience fellowship within the body of Christ, we are experiencing the very kingdom of God. “I know that when I come to you,” he said to his fellow believers in Rome, “I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ” (Romans 15:29). Then he asked for their prayers.

May we be a people who confess aloud how much we need Jesus, and push one another back into His presence. We don’t simply write postcards from a distance and wish one another luck or prosperity. No, we have the honor of inviting each other to encounter the living God, the giver of salvation and peace.


Melissa Zaldivar is a social in the world of academics and an academic in the world of socials. Ever the Enneagram Six, she likes to dream big, talk herself out of it, and then just do the thing already. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Bible/Theology as well as a Master’s in Theology. Her passions include eating Jimmy John’s sandwiches, showing people pictures of her nieces, and nerding out over biblical languages. 

Post Comments (49)

49 thoughts on "The Blessing of Christ"

  1. D says:

    Thank you for this timely sharing. I have recently moved to a new city and have kept jamming my life with plans because I’m so afraid of being alone. This reminded me that I am not alone and to trust God and find peace in Him

    1. Sarah says:

      Same here, D! I start my new job today in a new city. May the living God go before you and establish the work of your hands!

  2. Kit says:

    “A peace greater than my plans.”

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder, and for putting it so simply and eloquently. Sometimes I feel as if grappling with responsibilities is choking me like the seed that grew on good ground but was choked by thorns. I’m a big planner and overthinker too, and sometimes when I don’t have it all figured out, I panic. With this reminder, I will make it a daily practice to meditate on the peace of the provision and salvation of God. It’s a wonder that never ceases to amaze.

  3. Kari says:

    A chapter I’ve always skipped over, that you’ve turned into something special! Thank you Melissa!!

  4. Laura says:

    Love you, Melissa, and so glad to be part of your journey. I’ve never stopped believing on your behalf, and will pray that the Lord will be very, very close to you in all your times of discernment. It’s a severe mercy to have to be dependent on the Lord for every next step…so gracious (and tough) that we can’t go off on our own. Grateful to get to have a front row seat for the journey.

    1. Kylee says:

      A severe mercy… YES! Thank you for these words.

  5. Melania says:

    I love that last paragraph…may we confess out loud how much we need Jesus and may we push each other back to him. Yes! What a needed reminder.

  6. churchmouse says:

    We come to know that God is in control when we find ourselves in uncontrollable circumstances. So… He. Is. In. Control. So I don’t have to be. I can relax. Really. I can. Most of the time. Help me Lord.

  7. churchmouse says:

    Gospel community for me is found around my kitchen table on Friday mornings and here each day with you all. The church (large)I attend on Sundays… not so much. Sunday morning is focused corporate worship and it is inspiring, uplifting, unifing and encouraging. I love it! But the dig deep and share from the soul – that’s where the peace is dredged. A small group of life savers. And for that I am forever grateful.

  8. Sarah D. says:

    Been thinking about this more. My brother in law’s brother passed away this weekend, and I just feel so heartbroken for them. I don’t think they have a relationship with the Lord. What happens if my brother in law’s brother didn’t believe either? Is there any hope for him? I’ve started to pray that the family will find Him and feel His love and peace…I truly hope they do. Please pray for them with me, Chris is my brother in law, his brother’s name was Billy. I can’t imagine the pain and sadness that they are feeling right now, and I feel so sorry that they are feeling it.

    1. Lehua K. says:

      Keeping you and your brother in law’s family in prayer, Sarah. God bless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.