Monday, February 28, 2011

We Are Not Alone

Chad and I both woke up at 5 am yesterday morning with a kind of “deer in the headlights” look in our eyes. The room was reserved, by faith, we had purchased some sound equipment and bought food to share. I had a lesson prepared for the children. Chad worked all week on preparing the sermon and I was ready to lead worship. It was time to have church.

I stayed with David, Sean and Ruby while Chad loaded up the TV to use as a monitor. As Chad loaded up all the equipment I had to crack Dad’s old joke about naming our church, “The Church on the Move.”

We set it all up and ran through the worship songs. Then we waited and wondered if any of the people we invited would show up. At ten-till-eleven in walked five little girls and their mother/aunt. It was the lady who told us earlier in the week “we need to go to church.” Here she was! The girls were hungry and went right to the fresh fruit. They ate and ate and ate!

This week we had two girls who are 16 and 18 move in with their parents to the apartment above us. They are from what they described as a “ghetto” close to San Diego. Their father is working to get his Masters degree in education. We invited them to church when we helped them move in some of their furniture. They came!

Another young family walked in. They are ex-Navy from Gulf Port Mississippi. They brought their six-year-old son who became fast friends with David and Sean.

We all ate breakfast together then gathered together for worship. After we sang I explained that we want to pray for them and pray for one another. As we visited over breakfast Rafael’s mother and I talked about how disappointed we were that our apartment complex was zoned out from all the good Edmond schools.

So, we prayed for her little boy to adjust well to his new school. Her husband shared about the impossible time he is having finding work to support his family. Here we were all recently new to Oklahoma City, trying to find work, good education and make a life for our families.

I realized how all of the pain, loss, frustration and dark times our family has been through in the last few months brought us to this place. We are able to understand the needs of the thousands of people surrounding us right down to the maintenance problems in our building. I see the trials have meaning and purpose now. What better way to encourage someone; to know how to pray than to share in their hardships. Was not Jesus the ultimate example of this?

It’s one thing to leave Amarillo and come to Oklahoma. It’s another thing to leave Heaven and come as a little baby born in a barn. Jesus even knows what it is to stare in the face of doing the will of God. This morning I read in The Rev. Billy Graham book about Angels called, “Angels: God’s Secret Agents”

“The night before His crucifixion Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Only a short time later, He was to be seized by the soldiers, betrayed by Judas Iscariot, set before the rulers, beaten and at last crucified. Before He was hung on the cross He went though the terrible agony in the Garden which made Him sweat, as it were, drops of blood. It was in this situation that the Son of Man needed inner strength to face what no other being in heaven, hell or earth had ever known. In fact, He was to face what no created being could have faced and gone through in victory. He was about to take upon Himself the sins of men. He was to become sin for us.

Then it was in that crucial moment that the angel came to assist Him ‘strengthening Him’ The Greek word for strengthening is eniskuo, which means to make strong inwardly. Where the disciples of the Lord Jesus had failed to share His agony, as they slept the angel came to help.”

We all might face difficult circumstances and endure trials. As we endure, it is important to realize we are not alone. I’m thankful for a Savior who endured the full weight of my sin so that I can go free and tell others about Him.

Do you know Him?

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