Let me preface this day by saying I wasn’t going to go to church, due to our financial situation. It’s very dire! The $10 in gas was daunting. But I hated to miss church, and I know that it’s not God’s will for me to live in worry. He would provide! I was thinking more along the lines of maybe I’d sell a cord cover today….
Woke up, spoke with hubby, put coffee on, cleaned house incase the realtor called with someone who had cash money today. (Hey, I’m looking for my blessing!) Got everything done and still left on time for church. Jace found my old phone which had some classic Pink Panther videos on it. I found my old headphones. Ginger fell asleep on the way to church. Actually, she never really woke up between getting dressed and getting buckled in. Ahhhhh….silence. Just me, Juan Valdez, and Jesus on the way to church in a quiet minivan.
I have a 30 minute drive to church (or anywhere for that matter), and when I reached the midway point, I turned the radio on just in time to catch the beginning of the live version of “Awesome God”. I had my praise at the ready. I like to sing “My God is an awesome God” instead of “our God.” Then we go into “Glory, glory! Hallelujah! He reigns! He reigns!” by the Newsboys. Still praising.
About the time I hit the loop, we switch gears. There’s this other song that comes on and the end of the song is “Prone to wander, God I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love”. I think of everyone I have seen come and go through those church doors. There have been people that I thought, “Surely they’ll make it to the end.” They would say, “I’m always going to live for the Lord!” Two or three services later, they were gone. I don’t want to be one of those people! No matter how long you live for the Lord, you still have to make a choice every day. You have to die daily.
By the time I get to church, I’m already well into my “wet worship”. But no time for prayer—the soundbooth awaits. I actually like sitting in the soundbooth, because all I can see is the pastor and the platform. I don’t have to get distracted by people on their cell phones or people yawning or whispering to each other. I have a direct line of sight to the messenger.
The Sunday School lesson was spot on! One of the things Pastor Grissom spoke about was selling all. I don’t believe in consequences where the Lord is concerned. I have to say here that I understand that it’s not that Jesus necessarily wanted the guy to sell it all. The fact is that as bad as the guy appeared to want to follow the Lord, if it meant giving it all, he just wasn’t ready for that. I am ready, Lord!
The Sunday morning preaching answered a lot of questions I had about why Cain’s sacrifice was refused. As a child, I went to church 3 days a week. Even after my parents divorced, I rode with a little old lady to church, because my dad didn’t go. When I got married at 17 (divorced at 22), we went to church pretty much 3 times a week, too. I was out of church for 3 years but have been going 3 times a week for the last 9. Out of all of those sermons and Sunday School lessons, I still never knew why Cain’s sacrifice was rejected. Now I know! Thank you, Pastor Grissom!
My burden is still heavy as I make my way to the altar. “I Will Give You All” begins to play. I am now thoroughly convinced that I am on the right track with my “all or nothing” theme. I’m not sure who alerted the radio stations, the preacher, and the piano player at church, but “conspiracy theory” keeps popping into my brain.
A new family—a grandmother and her three grandkids—come pray together at the altar. We need more praying grandmothers! We need more praying families! I was overwhelmed with prayer for them and my own personal situation. Yes, I need to sell the house, but I need money for more immediate things—like gas to make it home. Jimmy drove up to his new job, and it took every bit of everything we had to get him there. He had $9 in his pocket when I spoke to him today. I was coveting his $9.
After service, my kids and I go home with a friend to pass the time. Old hatred/bitterness rears its head as we touch on different subjects. I don’t like that feeling. I used to feed that feeling, draw from that feeling, and it’s supposed to be a part of the dead me. But, yet, there it is. Insert good, older Godly woman here. She is such a good friend to me! She lets me vent, then on the way back to church, she gives me such wise council and we pray together. Thankfully, she prayed with her eyes open, since she was the one driving.
Wouldn’t you know that all of my worry about so many things was worthless? But my prayers weren’t! Within ten minutes of getting to church, I was the beneficiary of multiple sacks of groceries and another person blessed our family with a love offering. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good! Even if He had chosen to not provide, He is still good. The provision would come, sooner or later. But I am glad that it was sooner : ) Thank you, God, and thank you to my friend who was sensitive to the Lord. I am blessed!
There were many needs in our congregation tonight, and we spent a long time tarrying in prayer and seeking the Lord. As I was praying about my needs, I had a prayer warrior come to me and give me confirmation from the Lord that if I would just truly surrender it all, that He would take care of my needs. My needs go beyond money. We are leaving our church family of 9 years to start a new ministry. I am apart from my husband for the first time in a long time. I have a need to find a new church home, a good one. I have a need to sell our home. I have a need to be gentle with the children in the face of all of these “needs”. I have a need to be strong and not grow weary in well-doing.
The only way to do that is to let go and let God. He’s in control. I know without a doubt that He has directed our path. We love God, we pay our tithes, we honor Him in our home and our hearts. He will provide! He has promised us that He would. God’s not a liar! He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Your will, God, not mine.
I have ran through such a gamut of emotions today. The good thing about going through the wringer is that it means you are in the middle of a thorough cleansing process. I’m getting cleaner!
I love a good testimony, and I enjoy sharing my testimony with others. Hopefully, you will find some nugget that you can hold onto, some inspiration, some “oomph” to keep going, to fight the good fight. It will be worth it all!