Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm in His Hands

(Don't forget to pause the playlist on the side before you hit play on the video).

I’m in His hands…. How difficult it is to listen to this, let alone sing it. Yet this song compels me to lay myself prostrate before God’s mighty self, the great I AM and submit myself totally to Him. 

Whatever the future holds…. this is tomorrow, next week, and next month….next year… ten years from now. Whenever. I know He holds the future – He is so awesomely not bound by time or space…and I can count on Him pulling it all together for me. Is that not so cool!?

I don’t know about you, but I tend to fret about things. Oh, I give it into God’s hands and then I take it back – just for a while, mind you, so I can fret about it. You see, that way I have control over the situation.

And I need to have control sometimes!

Yes, I have a problem with control. I know it comes from growing up in a family affected by alcoholism. Never being able to predict what is going to happen. Never knowing for sure where your parent is because you know they’re late and they’re not home yet… and it’s dark…and they might not come home….and when they do will they be happy? angry?... will your parents fight again?... and on and on… ad infinitum… sigh.

But that was a long time ago, you might say. Yes, but its shadow still falls on my spirit every once in a while and sets me off. Then I’m back on the faith journey all over again. Every day, I have to come before God and give Him control. If I don’t I’ll take over myself and… well, that has disastrous consequences. Oh yes, I’ll start to fret as if that will fix it, then I won’t be able to sleep and then I’ll be tired and tense all the time. And before you know it I’ll wake up really early in the morning with my chest bursting. I’ll feel like I just want to run away from everything…

Like a dunce, it’ll take me a few days to remember that God is the one in control and I don’t have to be. You’d think since I’ve been at this for so long I’d have this down pat, eh? Especially since I’m in the business of preaching to others about it! But no… my humanness can’t help but break through every once in a while…and there you have it.

So, if you fret too, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you have trouble giving over control of your day, your family, your life to God, you’re not alone there either. If you can’t keep hold of the peace the passes all understanding followers of Jesus are always talking about…you’re not alone. I’ll wager that there are a lot of us like this.

Do you know what the good news is about this? God knows already. AND… He loves us anyway. He is patient for He knows our weaknesses. I’m reminded of Peter and how he had enough faith to get himself out and walking on the water, but not enough to keep him there. But Jesus reached his hands out to him and He reaches out to us too. And if He could use Peter to establish His church, then He can use me too.

Are you sinking…quick! Reach out and take His hand… He’s got it all under control.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great Big Faith

Providential:  –adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or resulting from divine providence: providential care.
2. opportune, fortunate, or lucky: a providential event.
Sometimes things happen to you and you know God's hand is in it.  That has been happening to me this past few weeks.  And what is God saying to me through all of this?  He's been asking me a question.
Kathie, where is your faith?
Little by little, this question is burning off the fog in my mind created by incessant worry and fear. This fog has been a problem for a long time now. As it clears, I'm beginning to see things I haven't seen for some time now. How did this happen?  I don't know. It crept up on me slowly, a little bit here, a little bit there. You know how it goes - bit of concern here a dash of fretting there.  Surgery, poor health, a demanding job and a busy family life. Add to this recipe caring for a aging mother and nursing her through her passing. Things happen and we all react differently.

This past week I was working on an assignment for the course I'm taking and I was challenged by the story of Daniel.  Today in my sermon I shared about Daniel's Great Big Faith and how I long to have the kind of faith Daniel had. As I encouraged our congregation to have faith, I was encouraging myself as well.  It was like the fog cleared completely and I realized that I had to have faith as well. As that realization hit, a peace came over me. But God wasn't finished yet - you know how He can be about these things.  He makes sure there is no question - a providential online chat confirmed what I was realizing. I need to have more faith.
Faith for what?
For everything. For all the everyday little things I worry over. And a Great Big Faith about where God will take us in our ministry...and that was an emotional one. Just over eighteen years ago we signed a covenant to serve God and minister in His name through The Salvation Army. We promised to go wherever we were sent and believed that God would only take us where He wanted us to be. In that place we would find perfect peace and rest for our souls. I lost sight of that in the last few years. But now the fog has cleared again.
We have been so blessed on this journey. I know He'll continue to bless us again and again.
So, after thirteen years in our current appointment, we leap into the big unknown. But we leap in faith that God is at the other end to catch us.