"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I am a Promise!

"I am a Promise. I am a Possibility. I am a Promise, with a capital P. I am a great, big, bundle of Potentiality. And I am learning, to hear God's voice. And I am trying, to make the right choice. I am a Promise to be, anything God wants me to be. I can go anywhere that He wants me to go. I can be anything that He wants me to be. I can climb the highest mountain, I can cross the widest sea. I'm a great big Promise you see."

I learned to sing this song as a child in Children's Choir. I loved this song! It was a fun, catchy tune. But I also loved the words. The fact that the Creator of all knows that I have Potential and Promise. Wow! What a realization for a child to have. Needless to say, this song has stuck with me all these years. And as I come closer to turning 40 years old, I want more than ever to make sure the lyrics to this simple child's song comes to fruition in my life. You see, I  am still a child in many ways looking to my Father in heaven to know what to do next. I want to make Him proud; although, I know countless times as a sinner I will let Him down. How can I make Him proud and achieve the Potential He set for me while still in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:16)? I want to be His Promise and His Possibility to His ministry more now than I ever have before - especially in the past six years.

I have comfort in knowing I can never lose the free gift of salvation that Jesus so graciously sacrificed for me (and you) and which I fervently accepted many years ago; however, I unfortunately can "walk away" from Him in my stubborness to venture out on my own... thinking I have my life under control. That's where I've been for the past six or more years...the spiritual equivalent to the "I-can-handle-it-on-my-own" teen-attitude. You know what I mean, when you think you know it all and you don't need any help from anyone. We, as Christians, often take on that same teen-attitude with our Father in heaven. Growing up Southern Baptist, we always called it "backsliden". Who am I to think that I do not need the Creator of everything - my Creator, the One who knows me best - to walk with me daily and be a part of my every decision? How stupid and childish can I be? Thankfully, Jesus never leaves us in those times. And as in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), He welcomes us back with celebration when we finally come to our senses.

Have you ever noticed that when times are going our way we neglect to show thanksgiving and honor to the One making it possible? Only in times of grief or despair do we call to the One who can make it all better. That is what happened to me. I had been away from a church family, and daily reading of the Word for about six years. Essentially, I had walked away from my Father and Savior.

Then in June of 2011, I lost my dad to cancer. He had been battling it with chemo/radiation a year earlier, and then major surgery when the medicines didn't do their job. Through it all, Daddy did surprisingly well. With one exception...none of it killed all of the cancer. We were thankful upon retrospect, that he really only suffered in the last weeks with his breathing and all the damage the cancer was doing to his body. Of all the friends and loved ones that I've lost in the past, Daddy's death has affected me beyond my understanding. My heart took me to Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 which states, "...lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." I knew I could not handle this pain (grief) without my Savior's help. So as a child reaches for their parent when hurt, I was spiritually reaching for my Creator to make my pain go away. I am learning though it does not just go away; He takes you on a journey through it...I am rediscovering my love and need for the One who saved me from my sins so long ago, and how He is so much more: Comforter, Friend, Father, Counselor, etc. I grew up knowing His many names, but I am now experiencing them on my journey. 

Have you ever noticed the many avenues the Lord uses to bring us back to Him? He never left my side in those years I was away...I just chose not to look to Him in my every circumstance and situation that arose. What all did I miss out on when I was not in communion with Jesus in those times? And now...I run to Him. He tells us in Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." For me, with my dad's passing being the catalyst, it was through friendship that He led me back to His House and back to His Word. I am still in the grieving process. However, I am learning daily how to walk through this journey back to Him and rediscover my Bundle of Capital P's that the Lord ordained for me... like the song states, "I am learning again to hear His voice". With His guidance and through the comfort of scripture, prayer, music, GriefShare group, and my God-given friends I am finding my way again...one in which I am either enjoying a stroll with my Friend on those days in which I can see joy, or in my days of deep despair my Father is carrying me in His arms and comforting me. I am enjoying being His child again, and I can shout, "I am a Promise to be anything God wants me to be!"
As a comfort for me and my family I can rejoice in the fact that at age 68, my dad -Karl Schmidt- accepted Jesus' gift of salvation one March morning in 2011. As he told me when he called me at work that day, "I finally got the devil off my back and I now know the Peace in Christ". Even now as I am typing those words, tears are falling down my cheeks in celebration of knowing that although I am grieving daily the loss of his presence with us on Earth, I WILL see him again in heaven.

May you rediscover your Bundle of Capital P's to use for Christ's will, and I pray that you seek His face everyday as I am trying to do.

With squishy hugs, Terri