Friday, March 18, 2011

Willing to Take a Stand

At a revival service this week, the musicians sang "In God We Still Trust". A patriotic song by Diamond Rio. At the end of the song, one of the singers began reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. I anxiously looked around for a flag, but it wasn't in the sanctuary that night. I knew I should stand, felt compelled to stand, but I continued to sit. So did everyone else. Until one older lady slowly stood to her feet with her head up and her back straight, all by herself. All around her others began to stand until by the end of the song everyone was on their feet.

I was ashamed. Ashamed that though I thought I should stand, I didn't. Ashamed that I cared what other people might think or say about me if I stood up. Ashamed that I wasn't willing to take a stand, by myself.

I was also heartened. Heartened that this one woman made a difference. Heartened that her actions spurred a room full of people to do what they felt they should.

My thoughts are not about patriotism or standing for the pledge. They're about me. They're about who I don't want to be. More importantly, they're about who I do want to be and what I want to accomplish. I don't want to sit in my seat waiting for someone else to make a way. I don't want to wait for someone else to blaze my trail. I want to be brave even when I'm afraid. I want to lead others to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

When God says, "No"

What good is prayer? What good are my prayers? After I found out that our Doodlebug died when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I didn't see any need to pray anymore. That's not to say I didn't pray; I still prayed, but I didn't expect those prayers to be answered. I didn't even realize I felt that way until my hubby mentioned praying about something and how I really felt popped out of my mouth, "Sure, ummm, you know what? There's no need for me to pray. God isn't listening to my prayers lately."

I've always known that sometimes God says, "no." I've always accepted that God knows best. Not this time. I couldn't have prayed anymore sincerely. My children prayed. Daily we asked that Doodlebug would grow strong and healthy. When I lay on the bed in the ultrasound room after the technician told me that she was sorry but she couldn't find a heartbeat, I prayed and cried and begged that the little heart would beat, that an arm would wave or a leg would kick. What kind of Daddy would say no to that prayer?

This morning that question was answered. The kind of Daddy who knows that His will is best. The kind of Daddy who could watch His son, His only son sweat great drops of blood while begging to not be crucified. The kind of Daddy who allowed His beloved Son's blood to cover my sin. The kind of Daddy who didn't allow me to be lost. The kind of Daddy who is love and must have suffered terribly while Jesus prayed.

The kind of Daddy who hurt with me while I prayed. The kind of Daddy who works all things together for the good of those who love Him. I don't understand, but I rest in His love for me.