Did you ever really listen to what you sing on Sunday mornings? We get together and just sing, sing, sing, sing. We promise to follow Jesus, to do this or not do that, we ask to be sent out, we ask to be gathered in, and on and on seemingly without end. But do we really listen to what we sing? More importantly does God listen? Worse yet does He listen and hold us accountable for what we say (sing)?
I really think that not only does God listen to our songs and words of praise and worship, but I think He is more than willing to take us at our word when we speak a request or a promise...even if we haven't really thought through what it is exactly that we are saying.
Submitted for your approval....a young father stands in the waiting area of a maternity ward. What should have been a joyous occasion has taken a horribly bad turn. The doctor who has taken care of him, his wife, his firstborn child for as long as he can remember and who has attended the birth of this, his second child, has just placed an x-ray of his newest child in front of him. Things are not where they should be, things are missing, surely this cannot be right. The doctor says that there is no way this child will survive, that she is suffering and that the kindest thing he could do is to turn off the respirator and just let her pass. Now the young father is no spiritual giant, as a matter of fact he hasn't been to church in years, and the only time he used God’s name these days is as a curse word. But, he had been brought up in church...and he knew that if ever there was a time to talk to God that this was it. So he walked away from the still talking doctor, down the hallway, and found himself standing in front of a big window, looking out into the blackest night he had ever seen...and this is what he spoke to God..."Why are You doing this? That child is innocent and doesn't deserve what You are doing to her. Are You that unfeeling, that blood thirsty that you have to have a life tonight? Well ok then, if You are that bloodthirsty, take my life and let my child live.” It seemed to the young man as if he was speaking to the window glass...so he went back to where the doctor was, drew on what he knew was right and refused to turn off the respirator, sure that the whole God thing was at best an ill-conceived fairy tale. However...God, as usual, had other ideas.
God used the permission the young man had given Him and did take his life...just not in the way the young man had intended. From that point on God used every occasion to guide (sometimes not too gently) the young man in the direction He wanted him to go. The baby grew and continued to perplex the doctors, who predicted her death at 1 month, 3 months, 1 year, 10 years, and 15 years until they finally gave up and admitted they didn't have a clue. The young man continued to fight against God, and tried to run away from Him on many occasions until finally after 10 years of wrestling with God, the now not as young man finally surrendered, and as he did he asked God why He had continued "messing with him" all these years. God answered, "What do you mean why? You gave me your life didn't you?" And He reminded me about what I had said back on that black September night in 1981.
So...Think about what you say to God. I think He takes those things way more seriously than we do. Just some food for thought as you prepare to worship...Till next time, Randy
If you are wondering what happened to the little girl, She grew into a wise and wonderful young woman who serves in her local church and has been on at least a dozen short term mission teams, the last few as a team leader...and she makes a mean oatmeal cookie too!