Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Before the Words Are Spoken....

  "For your Father knows what you need
before you ask Him."
Matthew 6:8
This week I have begun a new class in my college education experience: Spiritual Formation. My first paper was to write about my Relationship with Christ; I completed it late Sunday evening. Today was a difficult day for me. There were some concerns I had that I didn't feel God was addressing and I am battling with some confusion as to where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. I spent a few minutes down at the waterfront on my way home from the post office and told the Lord I really needed some direction.
When I returned home, I had an email from the professor stating he had graded my paper and he gave me an "A" on it. So, as I always do, I pulled the paper back up to remind myself of what I had written. This is my paper:
I was raised in a Christian home by parents who were second-generation Christians. We attended an Assembly of God church in Fairfax, Virginia. My earliest memories are of sitting beside my mother on a hard wooden bench while Brother Keller preached long sermons. We often joked that no matter what time he started his message, he was going to preach for an hour. We had children’s church on Sunday mornings led by a grandmotherly type woman named Sister Long. I loved this woman dearly; she was the first one who encouraged me to sing and always had a hug and a quick smile for the children.
My grandmother lived with us and her bedroom was right off of mine. I remember her nightly ritual was to let down her long hair, which she wore in a bun, and then get down on her knees beside her bed and pray for each one of her children, some which were not living for the Lord. Her deep love of God and faith and trust in Him made a huge impression on this little girl.
I do not remember the exact date or instance when I accepted Jesus as my Savior; probably one of those Sundays in Sister Long’s class. But I do recall the night I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. We had moved to Houston, Texas by then and I was about twelve years old. We had an evangelist come and speak at our church; I was there with my older sister. At the end of the service, they called for anyone who wanted to be baptized to come to the altar. Many people left the service, but I felt this tugging at my heart. I went to my sister and told her I thought I was to go down to the altar and she encouraged me to do so. But something was holding me back. Finally, she took me by the hand and went with me. It was a night I will not forget; His love washed over me and the Holy Spirit filled me with such peace and strength and a beautiful prayer language. I would not be honest if I said I totally understood what was happening at the time, but I knew that I had received something very special from the Lord.
The years have flown by and now I am almost 52 years old with children and grandchildren of my own. So many times I have been tempted to walk away from it all. But I am reminded that it is by His strength and because of His love that I am where I am today. God has rescued me over and over again; He has provided for me, healed me, and forgiven me time and time again. And still I am amazed and overwhelmed by His love. That He would call me to be of service to Him, that He would equip me to that work and that He would pick me up when I falter is beyond anything I could imagine.
Many years ago when my children were small and we were going through some really difficult times, I was just certain that God had forgotten about us and we were on our own. But He reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11-13, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart" (NIV). He not only had not forgotten me, but He has plans for me and my family. then came the gentle reminder to call to Him and seek Him with all my heart. That was the key: He had not gone anywhere, I had; and it was time to return to Him. 
My life verse for now is Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." I do not have to do it on my own; He is God and He has it all under control.
By the time I had finished reading my paper, I was in tears. God had reminded me with my own words of all He had done for me in my life and of all that I had to be thankful for. He then reminded me that He has the plans, and my job is to seek Him. He's got it all under control.
My God is so amazing!!!!

1 comment:

Deb said...

This brought back memories for me, too, Sis. Always good to remember what God has done, the promises He's already kept, and the future He has promised to us. Love you bunches!