Sunday, May 18, 2014

Why the test?

    I went to church today for the first time since I lost him.  If I was being honest, I would say that I was dreading the whole experience.  I was dreading all of the people who want to tell me that they love me and that they are sad for me.  Why - in - the - world?  That doesn't make any sense.  These people love me, and I want to run away.
    But, that's what we usually do, isn't it?  We put on our happy church clothes and our happy church faces and pray that no one will ask us what is really going on inside.  We hope no one can see that we are not perfect.  When people reach out in love, we draw back, because they might actually see the real us.
    I was so worried about talking to my friends at church, that I didn't even really think about running into God.  But, it seems that He had a lot to say to me.  Our first hymn caught me by surprise.  I thought I was doing a very good job of distancing myself from emotion, (because that's what you're supposed to do, right?)  Our first hymn was "When the Morning Comes," and verse three says...
Temptations, hidden snares, often take us unawares,
And our hearts are made to bleed, for each thoughtless word or deed;
And we wonder why the test, when we try to do our best,
But we'll understand it better by and by.

I wanted to scream out at that point. "Why the test?!!! I don't understand." Our associate pastor's sermon this morning was about listening to God. He said that we are too busy to listen. And, that we often only listen when there is a test in our lives. He mentioned how we misunderstand what God is trying to tell us.

Ok. How in the world? Do you ever feel like a sermon was written just for you? I was absolutely SURE that I knew what God was telling me. I was positive that when I talked to my husband about it, he would say, "He's been telling me that too!!! Let's do it!" That is not how our conversation went. I must admit that I was disappointed.

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD" Isaiah 55:8.

The scripture from this morning was 1 Kings 19:9-13. Have you read it? Do you remember where Elijah heard God's voice? It was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in "a still small voice." Do you know what I think God told me this morning? He said, "Keep listening. Curl up in my lap, take comfort under my strong wing, and wait."
1. Trials dark on ev'ry hand, and we cannot understand All the ways that God willlead us to that blessed promised land;
But He'll guide us with His eye, and we'll follow till we die,
We will understand it better by and by.


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