Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way Home Last Night ...

Those of you who know me well know that I have one passion: Jesus Christ. He is my inspiration and hope in everything I do, think and plan. My great desire is to hear those words from him: "Well done, good and faithful servant". A far distant second place passion is cycling. I really enjoy cycling but beyond the enjoyment it has a practical purpose; it is my transportation. I don't own a car so it is how my family gets around, how I buy groceries, how we entertain ourselves. Without our bicycles my family is stuck.

Well, a funny thing happened to me on the way home from the Awards Ceremony at our school last night. It was a great time at the ceremony with lots of laughter and a great celebration of the achievement of our students. It finished late as usual so it was very dark out as we prepared to cycle home. We were decked out in all our night cycling gear when we headed out into the transforming darkness of our wonderful city.

We were almost home, one street away, when I felt my seat adjust. I was in conversation with my 6 year old son who I was pulling along in our bike child buggy so I didn't give it much thought. Then I felt the seat adjust again and now it felt awkward. I figured the bolt underneath must have become loose and I would have to adjust it in the morning. Then the seat gave way completely and I was left peddling standing up. When I looked down I was shocked and horrified to discover that some welding on the bicycle had let go and the seat had actually torn away from the frame. The bicycle was a grateful gift from my son who had purchased it for me almost eight years ago from a gentlemen who repaired and sold used bicycles.

I can't even explain how my heart sank. Our entire summer plans just went out the window. We don't have money for a vacation so we had planned to explore the city and out-lying regions on bicycle. I was really looking forward to that. Then the full ramifications hit home. I use that bicycle for everything. We do our grocery shopping by attaching the children's bike buggy to haul the groceries home. We got to the stores with our bicycles, prayer meeting, pastoral visits, to work, to explore, to play. I went to bed feeling very low.

I am glad to say that the Spirit woke me up with a different thinking. I am a man of the Word of God and recently I have made it very clear to people that I have made a decision. It is a simple decision. I have decided to live with the understanding that if God said it then I believe it. Sounds like a catch phrase but it isn't. What is the sense of worshiping a God who we do not trust? What is the sense of study a Bible we do not believe? Why declare that we follow Jesus if we are not going to take him at his Word?

This morning the Spirit reminded me of one of those foundational things that Jesus promised:

   “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
   “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)

I wanted to give that passage in it's entirety because it is something that we read, hear about and maybe even think about but by our actions prove that we do not believe. But God said it so we must believe it. God knows what we need so when we ask he provides. It's that simple. He answers our need, not because we deserve it but because he loves us. He provides for us out of his unfailing love. Hmmmmm ... I wonder what you are not trusting him with today?

I am trusting him for a new bicycle, not because I enjoy cycling but because it is essential for me (even though I do enjoy it), and the he says he provides for our needs. He will provide a bicycle for me out of his unfailing love. Standing on this promise restores my heart and fills me with a great peace. For me it is a bicycle but what is it for you? What do you need to be trusting him with right now? What is the need in your life that you have been working so hard to try to deal with, so much so you have been setting aside the things of the Kingdom? Don't allow your needs to distract you from our purpose. Serve him strong, hard and with great joy and never let your passion for the things of the Kingdom to diminish. Today, I declare to you, we have a good God who loves us. God said it and I believe it. Yes and Amen!


Kelly said...

Wonderful, Pastor Paul. I am also in the position to trust God to meet so many of my needs. Finances, health, relationships...I have never felt so helpless in my life, so needy, and yet being in this place of having no choice but to trust God is a part of His plan for my life. I long to be able to trust Him w/child-like, humble faith even when I am in a strong place, when I don't feel my neediness so acutely. I suspect that I will remain in this needy place until I learn to trust Him no matter what. The physical needs are ever present, but they pale in comparison to my need for God to move in my marriage. That's the "big one". The one that wakes me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. The one that chokes my breath and chills my heart. The one that if God does not act, there is no hope. Today, I choose to trust God in this, the biggest of needs. He is not only worthy of my trust, He delights in meeting my needs and loves my husband infinitely more than I do. Whew. :)

Pastor Paul said...

UPDATE: In less than 24 hours God provided me with a new and better bike than the one that broke on me. He did it through a dear sister and her son. The Body of Christ is an amazing thing and so is our God who motivates us to love.

Pastor Paul said...

Kelly: That is a tough place to be in and I have been there myself in all the matters you mention. In fact, I have failed God more often in those times then I ever remained faithful. I am praying that the Lord will fortify you with extra strength so that these things will become a source of joy for you instead of a burden. God is good all the time! If he said it I believe it!