This past Sunday our church, after hours (many late night) of set-up, months of planning and years of praying, took a huge step of faith and met for the first time on the campus of Calvin College during our Grace Beyond building project. It was an amazing morning for our church family. The Spirit of God was so present that it was impossible not to feel the excitement.
As our church took a step of faith, and obedience, so did I. For the first time at Calvary, God enabled me to sing and help lead morning worship. He told me through a dear friend a few months ago that it was time to face my fear and audition for worship. I found out last Tuesday that my first time singing would be Sunday…at Calvin…not at my familiar, comfortable, beautiful sanctuary…which had already been de-constructed 2 days earlier. Well, ok then!
On Saturday morning, fear struck. God reminded me, through a bracelet that clearly says, FEAR NOT. I wore it all day, and every time I started to fear…I‘m not good enough…who do you think you are, you can’t do this…what if I’m not feeling well…what if the pain strikes…what if I’m on stage…I can’t do this…I remembered…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…and fear is a lie and not from God.
I awoke at 4:49 a.m. ready to roll…excited…so excited! I know, so unlike me. Let’s just say God has done a lot for my disdain for early mornings since beginning each morning with prayer in His Word for the past several months…its been awesome. I began my morning this way and the 2 verses in my devotions were:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Psalm 57:9-10
Isn’t that just like our personal, loving, amazing God! I arrived for rehearsal at 7 a.m. (after warming up with my friend Celine in the car during my 25 minute drive) and realized very quickly that the praise team was on stage…not comfortably off to the side. Well, okay then! Where was I placed? Front.and.center! Well, okay then! We rehearsed and the excitement to worship the Lord was building in my heart and fear had no place.
At the beginning of our 1st service our pastor explained that God didn’t ask us as a church for perfection, but obedience. I was so comforted by that, once again eliminating my fears. As we began to raise our voices and offer our hearts in worship years of fear, doubt and insecurity were erased. God overcame and as I sang such joy filled my heart. I was freed my friends. God.moved.mountains! I didn’t want it to end! It was a tiny glimpse of what it will be like in heaven worshiping our Lord and Savior forever…and there it will never end. Praise God!
As I look back at that mountain-top experience, today I am back in the valley. I am here on earth longing for heaven when we can praise Jesus forever with all of His precious family. I am reminded by the pain of this broken and scarred body that this is not my home and there will be a day when “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) because of His broken and scarred body. But my spirit friends, is freed…no longer afraid to sing praises to my Lord and Savior who has healed my heart.
God moves mountains…but sometimes he sends us people who very blatantly hand us a shovel and basically say get to work! Its been a long process and I have been handed many shovels…some I took reluctantly, some I took in shear terror, and some I took with the peace that surpasses understanding. Healing sometimes comes through the steps of faith God asks us to take, however painful and terrifying…to which I am living proof.
I don’t know what mountain you are facing, friend. But Jesus said “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20). Claim that promise friend! Believe in Him and His power to transform your life forever! That promise is for you! Now, it may not be how you expect, or when you would like, but trust that He has a plan for you…“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I still have mountains, friends, this was one of many I have asked the Lord to move. So I call on Him and come and pray to Him, and He will listen to me. We will seek Him and find Him when we seek Him with all our hearts. (Jeremiah 29:12-13). Let’s pick up our shovels and get to work so God can move those mountains!