I hope all of you got a chance to vote yesterday. It was truly a day of historic proportions. Whether it was a woman in the White House or the election of an African American as our president, both outcomes make history. Last week in my University Experience class we watched Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Regardless of who you voted for, yesterday’s election makes me hope that Dr. King’s dream is closer to a reality. And as one of my students shared in our small group today, even if you didn’t vote for him, our new president elect needs our prayers. So please join me in praying on behalf of our our country, its government and its leaders: “Our Father in Heaven, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Thursday night we have our free meal and program. We eat at 6:30pm and then afterwards we will be looking at the story of the prodigal son. We will spend time creating skits to illustrate this truth in a fresh new way. The best skit will be used in our Outreach ministry next spring.
Also, we will be having our annual Thanksgiving Banquet on Sunday, November 16th at 3:30pm. This is a special time when we invite all parents and friends to come to Wesley Foundation and join us for a special meal and program. This year will be a soup and appetizer potluck. Our Outreach ministry will provide the program and afterward we will eat. Please let me know how many of your family will be attending!
Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:
Sometimes in my quiet time I take out an old journal and peruse its pages. Sometimes I am looking for something specific because a current experience mirrors a previous one, and I know God gave me wisdom before that could be beneficial now. Sometimes I am completely led by a nudge that says, “Look here,” or “read this.” Sometimes I stand amazed at how deftly God weaves together a message to sooth my heart when I least expect it.
So I open up to 11/29/01. Here’s what I find:
Dear Father, I long for You, and in my longing faith and doubt dance, each engaging the other at deeper levels until the two collapse in exhaustion and all that is left is silence. Father, the call to intimate connection with You is constant, yet it comes so quietly. What does connection with You mean? We are together, Your life filling up my life, my life utterly dependent upon Yours to be sustained. I am ashamed of how easily my attention is diverted. Yet You are constant. I reach for You beyond feelings. You are here. You love me. You are working on my behalf. You are within me bringing forth the new life I prayed for. My waiting is not in vain; it will be fulfilled. I am Yours. I trust You. You are all of those things which I am not. Perfect in wisdom. Perfect in love. Perfect in mercy. Perfect in forgiveness. You are everything good and pure and whole.
The thing I love about old age is the perspective of time, and the gentle gift of wisdom that comes. On that day in November so many years ago, I was heart sick over my own poverty and confusion. I felt so lost in my own brokenness. Today I can see how gently God’s mercy healed the broken parts of me, and I am so thankful. But believe it or not (and those of you who know me well believe it) I am still very poor in spirit, and still have moments when I am confused. At that time in my life I assumed that maturing in God would fix those things, that magically I would become a different kind of person.
Well what I can say is that God’s mercy has healed my broken-heartedness in ways I could not have imagined. And yet God’s healing has not changed me into some other kind of person. Instead, God’s mercy has taught me the all-sufficiency of His love applied to my need. So now instead of being discouraged or distraught by my deep need of Him, I simply bring those feelings with me to prayer and tell Him all about it. And I do it with an expectation that He will be able to bring something beautiful out of my deep need. He has done it time and time before: my desperation is nothing compared to His ability and desire to redeem it. He always brings something good out of my pain and ineptness. I am so convinced of His ability to use my weakness for His glory that I no longer worry that weakness is often the only thing I really have to offer. I may not be impressive by any standards. Just trusting.
This is the scripture that challenges and sustains me: “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8). And here is why I share it: I know many of you have faith and doubt dancing within you even as you read these words. In fact it may feel less like a dance and more like a wrestling match, each one struggling to topple the other. And instead of collapsing, the two are colliding, making a shambles of your inner life. “What inner life?” you say. I know. Sometimes the noise and confusion becomes so unbearable that it is easier to drown out the struggle by ignoring it, plugging in the iPod, becoming buried in Facebook, or texting incessantly on the iPhone. Yet there in that deep part of you the grace of God is speaking. God’s word to your heart is, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakeness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
So be encouraged dear ones. God loves you and is ready to take everything you offer Him and transform it by His glory. Whatever that burden on your heart is, when you allow Him unmitigated access to it, He changes it and builds His kingdom through it. You can trust Him to fulfill it. Just like the song says: “Something beautiful, something good. All my confusion, He understood. All I had to offer Him, was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful of my life.”
This is me trusting,
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