Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sweet Faith!

Good Sunday Morning to YOU!!!!

This morning I just can’t help thinking about this:

I am loved! You are loved! WE are loved – above and beyond any depth of emotion we can conjure up within or for ourselves – we are loved!

And, no matter what we say or do, that will never change.  WE are loved with a deeper, more powerful love than we can ever imagine, and it is a FOREVER love – unconditionally, and for ALWAYS! No matter what!!

Wishful thinking, you say? Or crazy thinking? Or dumb?  Or maybe you believe it might be true, but feel it has no bearing on your day-to-day living or survival? Yes, I know, I used to think so too J

However, then, I would say to you that anyone who believes God, or God’s love is not real, or anyone who would say this is some nice ideal, but doesn't make a tangible difference in their daily living – I would say that they have never really experienced the presence of God.  Nor have they ever had the utmost glorious feeling of God’s love enveloping them.  Oh - but they can!

Yes, they – you can!! I can say this with utmost certainty, because I have experienced the feeling of God’s love and presence – and I do every single day – and I know that I can never, EVER deny it, having had the experience of it.  It is so real, it is so fulfilling, it is so comforting, it is so energizing, it is so saving, and it is so healing!

No, I’m not some wacko religious extremist or fanatic – I’m just a normal girl, with normal issues, who one day found herself at the end of her rope in the midst of an emotional trauma, and because she had nowhere else to turn –asked God if He was real, to show her, to help her.

And He did.
So, how about you - are you having trouble just believing God is real, or that He cares enough to help you with things in your life?  That’s ok, I think that is very common.  That was my issue.  Here’s my story:

One Sunday morning when I was 18, I was visiting my mother in Oklahoma (I had been living in Ohio with my Dad).  She asked me to, so I attended a church service with her that morning.  During the final prayer time I had my head bowed like everyone else, but I wasn't really praying.  I didn't know how for starters, and second, I didn't really believe that God was there or cared about me.  Truthfully, I was thinking about getting home, changing and having some fun in the sun time. But as I secretly looked around me, I wondered about all these people praying; I wondered why they were praying and how they thought it would help anything.

But this day, and one person in that church service changed my life forever.

During this quiet prayer time in this church service, while I had my head down, I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I looked up and the Pastor’s wife stood next to me.  She looked in my eyes and said, “You’re having trouble with faith, aren't you?” Ummm…how did she know that? At first I was scared, but then she said something like “You don’t know how to believe in God, do you?”  Ummm…no, I really don’t.  But how did she know that?  She said, “That’s ok.”  I have to say I felt a little relieved.  But somehow I started feeling this tug inside me – this little yearning to know what she was talking about, this beginning desire to believe that there really was this God out there somewhere. But she was right, I didn't know how.

And she asked if she could pray with me.  Of course I nodded.  And she did, quietly, personally, right there with me, she whispered a prayer for me.  She simply asked God to give me faith.  And from somewhere deep within me, I realized I wanted to have that faith.

Then the service was over and I went home.  I really didn't feel any different, and I went about my day.  Later that afternoon I was in the kitchen, bent over the sink washing my hair.  All of a sudden I felt this feeling on the top of my head, then it began to spread down into my head, my neck, my chest, and into my heart.  Like something had been put on top of my head, and then was pushed inside my head and then traveled down into my heart.  I mean, I could actually feel it.  Imagine my startled wonderment.  But interestingly, I wasn't afraid.  And as soon as I felt it hit my heart, I somehow just knew that it was faith – that somehow, I now felt faith.  That somehow, some way, that something I felt on my head was a rock of faith being inserted into my head and instilled into my heart.  Oh my gosh!! Faith! The knowledge that somehow God is real.  I knew – I just knew that there was a God, a real God, living and being.  Who saw me and knew me.  All of a sudden I felt like I had known that my entire life.  It was as if I had never doubted.  I just knew God is.

And so I had my faith.  God answered the softly whispered prayer of a humble Salvation Army Captain’s wife, for a troubled teen to have faith.  The beautiful gift of faith – became mine.

And it can become yours too.  Just ask.  A softly whispered prayer or a desperate cry for help.  However you need, He is there – waiting.  Just ask. 

And I will pray for you. 

For you are His Beloved,
Until next time,

This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I've  revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!  
(The Message)

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