Monday, March 14, 2011
~ "Don't close your eyes..."
When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. (Ps 102:22)
Much can be said about living in the south. For one thing, at 7:45 am, I would not have been subjected to the constant rattle of the jackhammer less than fifty feet from the quiet of my "writing place". Why on earth people feel the need to disturb the world at that hour of the day is beyond me.
The one thing I knew would be a challenge was finding a church. Yesterday's experience was all but reminiscent of the days of my youth. As I told a friend, I was afraid to close my eyes for fear of falling asleep and snoring. I've become very accustomed to lifting my hands in praise, participating with an "Amen" and having a dynamic preacher who does not repeat the same thing over and over again. I also believe that the Word of God needs to be preached from an unedited version of the Bible. In all of that, trying to find something positive to focus on after my first new church visit, has left me with just this: where two or more are gathered...
We are encourage to worship and serve our God as a group as well as individually. There is great joy in being a part of God's family, especially when you gather together to celebrate his love! That was not the case yesterday. I found myself longing for my home church, my friends and my pastor and his family.
When we come upon a situation that is not what we believe the Lord has in mind for us, we have two choices. The first one is to give up entirely and say "to heck with it". The second is to persevere. Knowing that the Lord gives us what we need, when we need it and not a moment sooner than he has to, can sometimes be the "saving grace" in a situation that seems hopeless. We have all experienced that longing for something better. We compare ourselves to others (its human nature). We want to "belong" and we want to "fit in". These days I know that I do fit in - the question is where. No longer having to sell myself short or conform to the disciplines of others, I can wait! The Lord always opens the door for better!
Take the time to find where it is God wants you to serve him. Make the choice based on the beliefs, the teachings and the atmosphere (not the aesthetic atmosphere). Let him lead you to where he wants you to be. Be patient, for he will reveal to you exactly what it is he wants from you! Be open to all possibilities. Be willing to adjust your sails and head into the wind, but don't settle! Open your heart and it will be very clear to you! Be willing to serve the Lord wherever it is he wants you to serve him from! It just may be at that falling down, dilapidated church in the woods that he needs you! Go where he wants you!
(photo by Stephanie Stevens)