This post has been hard to write. The first part came to me a week ago, the middle finally came to Thursday night but I didn’t have an ending..until yesterday. And all of this is from three different church services and our awesome God 😉
Last Sunday, Kerri, our prayer minister, during some congregational prayer time talked about some personal pain that she was going through and through her tears she said, “Pain means that comfort is coming soon”. I think I missed anything else she said because that’s all I heard and if you’ve read my posts on waiting, you know that that made me think. Kathy and I have gone through some pain in the last few years and just recently, it looks like our comfort is definitely coming (and I know that we can see that He has always been here but when you are going through the pain, that’s not always easy to see. And I’ve been working a lot lately – hard, outdoor, construction. labor work; not my forte or my favorite – so pain has been a part of my existence since I’m finding muscles that I didn’t know I had and they aren’t happy with being used so much. Pain lets you know that you’ve pushed or pulled too much – it’s a warning – and it’s time to stop. They say “no pain, no gain” but that’s not what I think in this situation. Pain is the signal to stop, and wait, comfort is near. Little happens when we try to do it all in our own strength and power and we just get hurt as we keep running into…
Walls. Big thick, seemingly unbreachable walls. That’s what Rev. Jody Ray preached about Thursday night. Actually, he preached about how we get through those walls – “The Joshua Principle” in Joshua 6:2: “See” what has already been given to us by God. Man, did I ever need to hear that. I know the prayers and the prophecies that are waiting to be fulfilled for my life and I kept looking at the walls that keep me from my “promised land”. Jody’s main point: “If you can’t see it, you can’t have it”. I don’t believe that Jody was talking about “pie in the sky” promises. He was talking about those things that we “know that we know” that God has already given us and we just haven’t taken possession of those blessings. Our unbelief gets in the way and we choose to struggle against walls (I believe we create some just to have an excuse).
Tears of pain to tears of joy… water… baptism. Just yesterday, Kathy and I went to see a new friend, Lynn, get baptized. He has a great story and we’ve been working together so I really wanted to be there on this day. It was the most moving baptism service I have ever seen. They expected to baptize only six or eight people and nearly 20 people got baptized – young, old, male, female. It was down at the river and Pastor Joel’s words before the baptisms started reminded us all of what baptism mean. I like what he said, “You can’t live by standing alone on the bank, you have to get into the flow of life with Jesus” (maybe a paraphrase). To see the joyful expressions of everyone after they came up “a new creation” was powerful. One young boy came up and told his mama, “Mom, I kept me eyes open when I went under and I saw my sins washed away!” It was all I could do NOT to bawl like a baby.
So, reminded of the One who washed away my sins and to whom my heart, mind, and soul belong. Why should I be afraid of the pain and the walls? He has given me life and has promised to walk this path with me. And that promise is for you, too. Let’s take Him up on that promise.