Life Notes—February 2, 2012
“For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8
I find it ironic that the times in my life I have most needed God are the very times I have found it most difficult to feel God’s presence. Like the Psalmist above, I believe God is my rock and my salvation and my fortress. I believe my deliverance and honor rest on God. My difficulty is in the fifth verse, “For God alone my soul waits in silence…” You see, when I am stressed to the max, when life seems to spiral out of control, when I am facing a mountainous difficulty I cannot see beyond, my mind goes wacko. Random thoughts bounce around between my ears in a dizzying fashion as I seek answers. I cannot quiet my mind enough to find God to save my soul—literally.
Contrast that with times of relative centeredness—times when I can sit down and close my eyes and hold onto one thought or blessing, focusing on the nuances and listening for the lessons. There are times when I can pray intently and feel so close to God it’s as if we are connected on a spiritual ethernet with unlimited bandwidth. When I can quiet my mind and control my thoughts, I find God easily. And in that place of peace there is no fear or frenzy. While certainly aware of suffering around me, there is a sense that all is well, that God is in control and that, in the end, everything will work together for good. That we cannot see that far into the future does not mean it isn’t so.
It was during a major crisis in my life a few years ago that the phrase “I’ll be praying for you” took on a new meaning for me. I have always thought it nice when someone let me know they would be praying for me, petitioning God to help me through whatever difficulty I found myself in. But in this instance it occurred to me people were not just praying for me, they were praying in my place while I was in too much emotional turmoil to find that center from which I could pray effectively. Similar to mowing the lawn for someone recovering from surgery or shoveling the sidewalk for someone too physically frail to do it themselves, praying IN PLACE of someone who cannot pray for themselves is a very special type of service. And one we can all do. The needs are great—will you pray for someone today?
Both Mitch and Tom will preach a sermon titled, “The Power of Words,” based on Luke 4:14-21 this Sunday. Mitch will be downtown where Life worship begins at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the downtown sanctuary. Tom will be at our west campus, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. Communion will be served at all services.
Come home to church this Sunday. How can your church family pray for you?
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator