Sunday morning. Clisthby is a two-fer: Taylor scoops the coffee and I fill the water. Clisthby has again taken a on a new persona.
Taylor drives. It’s been a while since I’ve had a chauffeur. Nice.
Pastor Don (cantata from last week, remember?) had a medical emergency this week. Something about a detached retina, if I understood correctly, and he was next to teach/preach in the series presented by the pastors.
Pastor Derry (youth ministries Pastor) inherited the Sunday sermon on Friday/Saturday–surprise to him. Not much of a holiday weekend when you have to throw together a sermon at the last minute. Seriously. Can you imagine the conversation going on between he and God:
“God, really? Wow, instead of a three day weekend with my wife and four kids, I have to prepare a sermon for about 2000 people? Father, I hope you’ve got a lot to say, cause my mind is currently on vacation. I’ll tell ya’ what, You speak, I’ll take notes, and when you’re done, just tell me to write hallelujah, and we’ll call it done. Ok?”
His sermon was very fitting: “God, I Just Don’t Get It.” 😀
He started with Psalms 13:1-2 “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Wow…he could have stopped right there. I am so very tired of hurting, FINALLY! To hear someone else ask the question,”How long is this going to hurt so intensely?” I just wrote about that in the last couple of days. HE IS LISTENING!!!
Psalms 13:3-4 “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
Sometimes in grief you get to the end of yourself and it’s not like you doubt God, it just feels like…Satan is winning. My fear and doubt become my own worst enemy. Hold on, there’s hope:
He shared how his dream in college was to minister abroad and he asked God/offered to God to use him outside of the states. He said it was almost like he could feel in his heart God’s answer,”No.” He “just didn’t understand.” He has been at NMC, 1/2 a mile from the high school where he graduated, for the entirety of his ministry.
He shared he and his wife’s journey through infertility for five years. He said it was like suffering a death of a dream…every month. He eventually stopped praying for himself, and was praying for others, feeling like God had made “His decision.” Year six and a seventeen year old girl approached them and asked if they had ever considered adoption. Their first little girl entered their lives within that year. He and his wife were blessed beyond measure having an additional one biological child and adopting two others.
2009 brought about an unforeseen wrench in the “happily ever after” for their new little family. As excited as their parents were, Derry’s dad was in a car accident and rushed to the hospital. Derry lost a vital piece of his dream, two days later.
He reflected back on how different their lives would have been had their first attempts at increasing their family succeeded. Now they are a multiracial racial family. That opportunity would not have presented itself in a personal way, without the difficulties and disappointments they faced early on.
He shared how he has had the opportunity to serve on missions trips, some for longer periods of time, in his current ministry position. He’s had the opportunity to send students out to permanent mission posts all over the world and another one is due to be sent, very shortly. He feels his reach has been more global…never leaving the 1/2 mile from the high school.
All of these wonderful things. One thing does not change: his dad is still dead, “to be blunt,” Derry says. His dad only met his eldest child. His dad has not been able to celebrate the world wide reach. Sometimes he says,”God, I just don’t get it. But, He is God. We are not.”
Psalms 13:5-6 “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
We see the moment. God sees through the moment. We have to position ourselves to walk beside the One who knows the path to our final destination.
Embrace the situation. It’s better to walk WITH God through it than suffer the situation WITHOUT God. We wait and we hope. We call,”O Emmanuel!” meaning, God with us. We need Him to be with us, walk with, protect, direct, and heal us, ultimately…love us.
Magnificence, splendor, grandeur, majesty, greatness, nobility, that’s what we want…no, that’s WHO we want. Those words define Glory and that’s what we give our Emmanuel. I came across this song when I wrote yesterday, listening to Lauren Daigle. Two days in a row, of her, that is extremely unusual, but I cannot help where God leads. It’s just up to me to not to get in His way and…follow. Enjoy!…or not. You choose :).