Sunday's usually find me in church, usually serving in some way. The last few months, though, I've been away more than I've been there. My absence is due, in part, to chronic migraines, tons of family functions, and, if I'm honest, my own spiritual deficit these says. Thankfully, though, in this age of technology, missing church does not mean missing the message. Missing church also does not mean missing out on connecting with and being cared for by church friends. Before this Sunday was through, one such faithful friend sent me a text message (just how much went unsaid or how much time was spent on the phone prior to text messaging?!?!) and said "You must download and listen to the sermon ASAP!" For me, ASAP was about 2 days later. That's how "on top of things" I am these days.
Personal and spiritual discipline aside, I am so thankful for my friend. What I'm not so thankful for is choosing to listen to the message at work. The result was a weepy me, trying to type, in front of an office full of people.
Sobbing at one's desk is FROWNED UPON in this establishment! ;)
The message was from Romans 4. It was about Faith in Barren times. If ever there was someone in scripture that knows waiting, endurance, and sustaining faith in barren times, its Abraham and Sarah.
When you read this passage, and the full account in the Old Testament, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Abraham was led and sustained by one thing alone...the promise of God. Sure, he had a unique experience with God that was powerful, but many years went by, many trials were faced between that encounter and the fulfillment of that promise. And, as the speaker of this message, Dave Harvey, reminds us...Memories fade. One thing remains: what God said. One thing is constant: what God said. One thing kept him true, kept his heart from failing: what God said. For a long time, he didn't have peaceful circumstances, a content wife, or a son...but he had the promise. And so do we. More to the point, while listening to the message, what I heard was "and, so do I."
I don't have a husband, or the ability to look in a mirror and like what I see. I can't run a mile full-stop or wear a bathing suit in public. I don't have my dream job or own a home. All I have is a rented apartment, a job that pays the bills (mostly), family, a few close friends...AND A Promise...that I am chosen, saved, beloved, not forgotten, delighted in, and that he will work these disappointments and barren times out for good.
In the meantime, I am called to be "fully convinced that God [is] able to do what he [has] promised" or, as Dave Harvey says "trust what God says about my future more than I trust what my circumstances say."
That is my mission for Day 59...
(You can listen to the message HERE, if you're interested)