So it’s actually Tuesday afternoon and not Sunday night… But when it comes to thanking God…better late than not at all! Truth is it was a rough week last week, both Grace and I were tired, and we had some unsettled business between the two of us (married people stuff) that was weighing on me. On top of that we couldn’t get any of our regular praise leaders for Sunday, and I was not up to leading the music part too this week. Down down down. Gravity pulls everything down doesn’t it? So sometimes all we can do is cling to God’s promises and trust Him. But God heard our cry and stepped in… and here’s what happened:
1. Lawrence, an old friend, was able to fill in to lead worship Sunday! Ages ago, I was a Youth Pastor for about three months (I wasn’t very good at it), and Lawrence was one of my junior high school kids. Well he’s all grown up now, but he tracked me down a couple of years ago and it turned out he’d become an excellent guitar player and helps out with praise at his church… and he came to the rescue Sunday!
2. Every person who was there on Sunday was brought by God for a reason! Some don’t get to worship every week – and although that sounds like me wagging my finger, I know it’s MUCH harder to go to worship when it’s not part of a regular routine! So I’m especially grateful for the sometimes-there people. And I’m triply (is that a word) grateful for the two new people (hi Helen!) I met who came to bless us and hang out.
3. The sermon topic was “What to do when God feels distant” – Now I confess, when God felt distant to me I was usually grumbling and complaining and causing mayhem with the best of them… I’ll spend money to make myself feel better (which works for about 10 minutes, a day or two if I buy something nice), get proud, look to people to make me feel better, all the usual things…so I have no particular wisdom when it comes to this topic. BUT…God’s Word is true and deep and speaks wisdom! And so the wisdom of Psalm 42 hit home with a number of people. Praise God!
4. In waiting for God in my own life (what Psalm 42 taught), confessing I couldn’t solve things on my own I got to see God work in my marriage! Marriage is an absolute fight!! But not a fight with one another, a fight to hold on to God’s idea of true love! It’s SOOO easy to give up and just be sad married people with happy faces. It take blood sweat and tears to hold on to God’s promises for Christian marriage, submitting to one another, and loving my wife as Christ loves the church. But God is faithful, and He opens ways in our relationships when we look to Him. And that’s exactly what God did for me and Grace, praise God!
5. We were able to pay the rent for the month! Although we never had trouble with this… I usually take that for granted, but it’s actually amazing! We don’t ask people for money (because of the nature of our ministry and the not-yet-believers we minister to). So every penny we get was motivated out of a sincere desire to support God’s work at CF. Also, every unsolicited penny is a vote of confidence for what God will do at CF. Praise God!