Posted in missions, Uncategorized

I Can’t Hear You

“But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Acts 3:6 (CSB)

I can’t hear you.  A friend and I were standing on the shores of an island in Lake Victoria, Uganda, East Africa.  He was telling a Jesus story to a man and trying to determine if he knew Jesus.  While he was sharing another man walked up and began to listen.  At the end of the story, we asked a couple of questions.  The first man indicated that he knew this Jesus.  The other did not.  And he couldn’t hear.

Let me explain.  It wasn’t that he had a hearing problem.  His ears were working quite well.  It wasn’t that he couldn’t understand.  Our friend understood English and when we hit a bump our translator would jump in and help out.  But he couldn’t hear.  Then he explained the problem.  He said something like, “I can’t hear about this Jesus because my stomach is so hungry.”

Now hunger is not usually a big issue in Uganda.  While the food may not be the best nutritionally it is usually sufficient in quantity.  Our friend was one of the exceptions.  For whatever reason he hadn’t eaten that day or maybe the day before.  The growling of his stomach was blocking his heart from hearing the message.  We tried to explain that while we may hunger here, God had a place in heaven where no one would be hungry. I decided to tell him another story from the Bible.

I told him the story of Peter and John entering the temple.  You can read it in Acts 3:1-10. It goes something like this. There was a crippled man there who made a living begging.  When he saw Peter and John he thought they could help.  He looked up expectedly and perhaps even lifted his hand to receive a coin or two.  While his hand remained empty he got something more than a coin.  Peter said, “We don’t have silver or gold but what we do have we will give you.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

As Peter reached his hand down and the man reached up, his ankles received healing strength and he stood and walked into the temple.  I smugly smiled my preacher smile.  The perfect story.  The perfect truth. Eternal is better than temporary. Surely my friends would see it and everyone would go their way happy.  Only it didn’t happen.

I asked him “So what is better a few coins now or something that can change your life forever?”  I, of course, expected him to agree that the gift of eternal life is certainly more and better than a few coins or a quick meal.  His answer caught me totally off guard. He replied, “A few coins or some food.”  What?  I couldn’t believe what he was saying.  Surely he understood.  Surely I had made the story clear.

Then he said it.  “Heaven is good but I am hungry now. I need food now.”  Well, sadly, he wandered off.  Still hungry.  Still lost. My friend continued to share with the first man but my heart was heavy and my mind on the other man.  Suddenly, I saw him again standing a few yards away. It was then I heard the Whisperer whisper.  It was short and simple.  “Give him food” the Whisperer said.  I had totally forgotten that in my backpack I had some tuna, chips, crackers for my own lunch.  I dug several items from my bag, as did my friend.

I walked over to the man and said, “This isn’t much but I hope it will quieten your stomach so you can hear Jesus.” He quickly took the food and left. There’s no bow on the package, no happily ever after ending, no prayer to receive Jesus.  But I know two things. I know he knew we cared and I know he heard the truth and this time that had to be enough.  Maybe the seed would sprout later…only eternity will tell.

I learned a couple of things that day.  I learned that sometimes before we can share the Good News of the Gospel with a person we need to touch them in a real tangible way.  A casual God bless you and a pat on the back doesn’t do much for an anxious soul or a hungry stomach.  We must talk Jesus, we must share Jesus but we must be Jesus.  Someone said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

In these crazy, troubling times people need more than a sermon—they need to know we care.  How do we do that?  That’s the second thing I learned.  We have to listen for the Whisperer.  We need to be sensitive to His gentle nudges. We have to still our own souls and hearts if we are to hear His gentle voice. These days call for new ways…different ways. So as you walk about life, keep your eyes open, your heart still and watch in wonder at what God can do through you.  You don’t have to be in Africa to be on mission.  That can happen, must happen right here, right now.  And in these days of fear and frustration people are more ready to hear about God than ever before.  What a privilege to be entrusted with God’s work.  Up for the challenge?  God believes so.  Remember, He’s really big on you.  So rest in Him.  He’s got this.

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Day Old Donuts

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

The sign said it all. “Day old donuts…half price.”  In those five words there are two things I really like.  First, donuts.  Donuts and I go way back.  In fact, food and I go way back.  I’m a southern boy and there’s just something about food that puts a smile on my face.  Donuts, well, they make me smile big. The other thing that I really like is “half price.”  I love a good deal.  I remember one time I was at a store and it was after Christmas.  They had a gift set that had a razor, some shaving cream and a few extra blades.  They were marked down from $6.99 to .79 cents. I bought all they had—about twenty of them.  Too bad I used an electric razor.  But it was such a good deal.

So we have half-price donuts. Now we have a problem. “Day old.”  Because donuts don’t have any preservatives they go stale very quickly.  On day one a donut becomes not as fluffy—a little chewy.  By day two it becomes like a dried out kitchen sponge.  By day three you have yourself an oversized hockey puck.  What is a donut lover who loves good deals to do?  One word.  Microwave.

The microwave is an amazing invention…especially when it comes to donuts.  You see the microwave cooks from the inside out.  So when you put a day old donut in there it begins warming from the inside and any moisture turns to steam and the steam moisturizes the bread. Let me tell you that dude will fluff right up.

I mean this is amazing.  You can even throw a three day old donut in there and depending how hungry you are, pretty much make it edible.  I know because sometimes I wander through the church on Thursday and discover some leftovers from Sunday.  Yup.  Just chuck those things in the microwave and you’ve got yourself a semi-fresh donut. By the way, do not tell my wife Judy I’ve done this.

I wonder if David the shepherd had day old donuts and microwaves in mind when he wrote Psalm 23:3.  There we find, “He restores my soul.”  That’s just what the microwave does for the donut.  It warms it from the inside, moistening the dry, stale, bread making it soft and pliable again. In David’s way of thinking it wasn’t a microwave, it was green pastures and still waters.  If you could see it from a sheep’s perspective it would make perfect sense.

Imagine a sheep, hot, tired and hungry and the shepherd brings them to a lush green pasture and he eats his fill.  Then he waddles over to a crystal-clear brook, barely moving, and drinks till he can’t hold anymore.  That’s what David meant when He said God restored his soul.  A lot of folks wouldn’t take a chance on a day old donut.  A lot of folks would count it only worth giving to the dog or tossing in the trash.  They don’t understand the wonder of the microwave.  Do you know what? Sadly, people do people that way too.

Someone gets beat up by the world, worked over by doubt, fear and frustration and they get a little stale.  Some folks wouldn’t bother with them.  Some folks would avoid them.  But not God. He sees the broken, weary people around us and the garbage can is the furtherest from His mind.  Just like the microwave can work magic on a donut so God can work miracles in the lives of the most broken of people. And like the microwave—He does it from the inside out. Remember when Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Jesus does what nothing else, no one else, can do.  He can rescue, redeem, and make the broken whole and life fresh again.

So, let me suggest before you walk by the day old donuts at the market give them a try.  You might discover a tasty treat and a good deal.  And, before you walk by your neighbor or a stranger and you can tell they’ve been worked over by the world and circumstances, just remember what Jesus did for you.  Remember how He didn’t just see you how you were, He saw how you could be. Just a moment in time and He plumped you up with His amazing grace and kindness. Maybe you are the one who feels pretty stale about now. Maybe your heart is as hard as a week old donut.  Well, don’t crawl in a microwave but do crawl up in the lap of Jesus.  Let Him restore your soul.  Stay awhile.  Rest in Him.  He’s got this.

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Crime of the Century

“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the toll booth, and he said to him, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed Him.” Matthew 9:9 (CSB)

It was the crime of the century.  Somewhere right around the time I was learning how to cut watermelon with a butcher knife, I was learning how to be a criminal.  I already had the regular sin thing down by then.  I could be be jealous, tell a lie, be angry, be envious and be selfish—yup I was a pretty good sinner.  But one day, one ordinary day, I became a thief.  I became the “Al Capone” of 6008 Carlton Road.

My mom was the Girls Auxiliary teacher at the church we attended.  It was a class that taught girls about God and missions.  As part of the class, they would bring their change to and put it in one of those small, metal world globes.  Mom, to keep it safe, brought the globe home and one day, one ordinary day, I decided to steal.

My plan was never to take all the money—that would be too obvious.  I wanted just enough to go to the store and buy a water gun.  So one day, she and my sisters left and I was in the house by myself.  I went and took the globe to our porch and with a butter knife I began to fish the money out of the globe.  Nickels, dimes and quarters fell to the floor.  When I got what I wanted I put the globe back and collected my booty. I don’t remember if I felt remorse at the moment but I did feel fear.  “What if?” I said.

So, later, Dad went to the store and I tagged along.  I went back to the toys and picked up my water gun and bought it.  Now those were the days when kids didn’t have money laying around so dad asked, “Where did you get the money to buy the water gun?”  I panicked but quickly and efficiently covered the crime with a lie.  “Oh, I found it.” I replied.  Found it indeed.

The only thing I remember from that point on is going back to the crime scene and making sure I had found all the coins that had fallen to the floor.  I didn’t find any but I did find something else.  More fear and a burden of guilt.  So I don’t know how the story ended.  I don’t remember confessing, I know I didn’t replace the money, and I know it still bothers me to this day.  I bet mom is going to have some questions when I get to heaven.  The cat is out of the bag.

So, along with being a regular sinner, I fell into stealing from God and lying to my dad—and probably my mom.  Thankfully, somewhere down the road, I also became forgiven. Its too long of a story to share here but when I was 21 I fell, I was plunged into grace.  I threw aside an unhealthy dose of religion and got a relationship with the God of the universe and beyond.  And do you know what?  That sin, and all my other sins, were forgiven, eradicated, erased, and thrown away. Amazing.

So, put your rocks down.  You might be wondering, “How can a professional criminal that stole from God be a christian—much less a preacher?” That is the wonder, mystery and power of God’s love.  You see, the worse sinner in the days of Jesus were tax collectors.  They were professional thieves who betrayed their friends and country men to the Romans.  Matthew was one of those. He was sitting at his collection table taking people for a ride.  Then it happened.

Jesus walks up to this most unlikely person and says, “Follow me.” The other followers’ jaws dropped, the Pharisees nearly threw-up and Matthew, well, he stood up, left it all behind and followed Jesus.  And, like they say, the rest is history.

I don’t know what your story is like—maybe you’re a lot better than me—maybe a lot worse.  Let me tell you what I know—God loves you and wants you in His family.  If you are willing to turn from your sin and follow Him, He will forgive your sins and give you a new past and a new future. You see God can handle all this stuff we are in.  Crazy days and crazy sin doesn’t faze Him.  He can handle your circumstances—and your sin, no matter how much you resemble Matthew or Al Capone.  Come to Him today, rest in Him today.  He’s got this.

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Why not Minot?

In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should… Romans 8:26

Why not Minot? Freezin’s the reason!  So about three-fourths of the way through basic training in the Air Force you have the opportunity to fill out your dream sheet.  This is the Air Force’s way of saying, “Now we really don’t care what you think but if you want to, you can tell us where you would like to be assigned.”  No really, that’s true.  But it is also right…the needs of our country have to come first.  And, if for some odd reason the needs of the country lineup with your needs, you just might get what you put on your dream sheet.  Too bad I didn’t know that.

Our flight (the group of guys that you go through basic with) filled out our dream sheets together.  Of course everyone put down bases close to home, exotic areas like bases near the beach, or some other place that seemed exciting and interesting.  I remembered listing a couple of bases in Florida, Moody in South Georgia, Colorado, Germany and Alaska.

There were lines for twelve different dream locations and I still had one line left.  We were all feeling pretty jovial—you know, joking around.  So I said out loud, “Hey, I’ve got one spot left.” Someone, and surely he was related to the guy who suggested we join the Air Force together and backed out, said, “Put down Minot, North Dakota.”  HaHa, so I did.

I wished I hadn’t done that.  So I can just see the guys in the assignment section at headquarters.  They were giving the dream sheets the old “once over” and came across a guy crazy enough to put down Minot, North Dakota.  “Hey sarge,” “Here’s a crazy guy that wants to go to Minot.”  “Really?” The sarge asked.  “Yup, that what he put.”  So a couple of months later I found myself going to, you guessed it, Minot.

Minot is cold.  Minot is very cold.  Minot is very, very cold.  It is about sixteen miles from the Canadian border.  As the opening line said, “Why not Minot?” “Freezin’ is the reason.”  Did I mention that it is cold?  I arrived in late October and already the temperatures were near freezing.  This southern boy only had on a light sweater to fend off the below zero wind chill.  I knew when they gave me a heavy down filled parka, white arctic boots and gloves and one of those Russian looking Siberian hats I was in trouble.  Minot…who ever lists Minot?

I learned something that winter in Minot.  Be careful what you ask for…you just might get it. It happened in the headquarters assignment room but I am thankful it doesn’t happen in heaven.  You see, God loves us way too much to give us everything we ask for.  I have lived long enough to be thankful for unanswered prayers.  You see, prayer really isn’t about getting anyway. It’s about relationship.  It’s about trusting God and believing that He knows what is absolutely best for us.

Romans 8:26-27 is amazing.  It says, “In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, with unspoken groanings. And He Who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” That means He knows what to say when I don’t and He knows and prays in accordance to the will of God.

Translated that means, “no winters in Minot” or six dozen other bad choices or prayer requests. It means our prayer life becomes more real. It means no more feeling like we are talking and no one is listening.  It means prayer becomes  a real and powerful force for God’s purpose to be done.  And since His purpose is always right and best—it is a win, win. So, I know right now our dream sheet would be easy.  No more corona virus, no more kids out of school, no more stay at home or face masks, no more not worshiping together and no more, no mores.  I think that’s a fair prayer.  But just remember, He’s God and we are not.  God is good, God is faithful and God can be trusted.  Even if the answer doesn’t look like our answer, it is still the right and best one.  So, sit back, rest in Him.  He’s got this.

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Do You Believe?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.  Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

It was an ordinary day. Jesus was on the move traveling from one small village to another doing what He did–making a difference. As He was approaching Nain, a stop in the road, He ran into a funeral procession. We recognize funeral processions by the flashing lights on the hearse followed by cars with headlights on. He recognized it by the mourning–the funeral wail. The closer He got, the louder it got. It was the sound of broken hearts and lives.

In Luke 7:12, we get the details. It says, “Just as He neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was also with her.” What a tragedy. The cause isn’t listed nor does it matter. Death comes in many forms and is no respecter of persons. But it was her only son and he died too young. It gets worse.

Luke also shares that she was a widow. She is facing this dark time alone. There is no husband to share the grief–it is all hers. And when the grieving is over, she faces a very difficult world. No source of income, no safety net, no unemployment, no social security–nothing. It’s a bad deal from top to bottom. And then it happens.

Jesus sees the situation and orders the mourning column of brokenness to stop. Why? He has compassion on her. He knows her story before He is told and He tells her, “Don’t weep.” It could be an unkind statement akin to “hey, get over it” or “it will be better tomorrow.” Instead it was a statement of power–the kind of power that can change everything.

He walks over and touches the coffin–a big no, no in that culture but Jesus didn’t let rules stop Him from loving, from acting. He says, “Party’s over death…you’re done.” Ok, He really said, “young man, I tell you get up.” And boom–just like that he did. Now let me tell you when you are at a funeral and the dead person sits up and is alive, the funeral is over, and the party begins. Break out the fried chicken because death is done, and Jesus is King.

I love this story…I really do. I see it played out day, after day, after day. No-not exactly like this, but I, we, see God bringing spiritually dead people to life every day. And when that happens John 11:25-26 becomes a reality. There Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” Wow what power–what assurance. But it all hinges on the last four words, “Do you believe this?” “Do we believe this?”

Ok, so these are difficult days. You might feel like the widow of Nain. It may feel like your world is imploding around you with all the safety nets gone. Well, there’s One that will never leave you and His name is Jesus. Oh, and knowing Him, is a game changer. The future that matters–the eternal one–is a guaranteed better day. In a word, it is heaven.

So, as we journey these uncharted waters together remember we never have to be alone–ever. Jesus wants us to experience His compassion and His salvation. And listen, when Jesus shows up things change. He is bigger than anything so rest in Him. He’s got this.

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Scars and Souvenirs

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose., I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” Romans 8:28 (CSB)

I was probably nine years old when it happened.  If you look at my hands you can see several scars.  Over here is one from an “exacto” knife when I was putting together a car model.  Over there is one from a car accident.  I was riding with my brother-in-law and the car in front of him decided to stop and he decided not to.

There is one on my right thumb—its the one that has been there for the last 55 years.  We were visiting my Uncle Hardy down near Chiefland, Florida.  He was my mom’s brother and the city manager of that small central Florida town.  They had an annual Watermelon Festival that included all the melon you could eat and an opportunity to ride of the back of the city’s garbage truck in the parade.  That was a big deal.  I didn’t get out much.

There are two things that Uncle Hardy had that impacted my life. One was a hairline that didn’t include much hair.  Thanks Uncle Hardy.  The other was a fish camp on the Suwanee River.  It was an old Florida cabin with a tin roof and it was the things legends are born from…at least for a nine year old.  We would take boat rides, swim in the river and eat watermelon. And that’s where “a scar was born.”

We were eating watermelon and I picked up a large butcher knife to slice off the watermelon from the rind.  I didn’t have a lot of experience with butcher knives but I was feeling a little like “Indiana Jones” so I picked it up.  Like I said, I didn’t have a lot of experience, so I began slicing watermelon pulling the knife toward me and my little nine year old hand. My dad saw it and said, “Dewayne.  Be careful with the knife. Don’t pull it toward you—push it away”.

Well, when you are nine and know it all and you’re feeling like Indiana Jone you don’t listen to your Dad or common sense. So I kept right on slicing and then it happened.  I got a little too close to my hand and neatly sliced a half-moon cut in my thumb.  Well, so much for Indiana Jones.  There was the usual holler, a bit of tears, a dad’s “I told you so,” a big bandage, a little embarrassment and the makings of a scar.

It healed fine, leaving a scar and a gentle reminder.  When you are using a knife don’t pull it toward you…push it away.  Dad was right.  There is only one scar on my hand from using a knife incorrectly. That is because every time I am tempted to do it wrong the scar on my right thumb says don’t.  And now the scar has become a sort of souvenir. When I see it I don’t remember the pain, the tears or the embarrassment, I remember the lesson.

How about you?  Have any scars…visible or invisible?  When you see them or think about them does your mind instantly go back to pain. Do you find yourself constantly living “it” all over again—the hurtful word, the unkind act, the feeling of being rejected or forgotten?  What if we “scar bearers” could remember the lesson instead of the pain. What if we could remember the promise instead of the pain.  Promise?  Yes, the one found in Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purposes.” This is a “go to” promise for me because I have a lot of oops, bumps, bruises and scars.  I’m learning, though, to look at all of that not for the pain they caused but the good God brought from them.

I’m determined, yes determined, to glean as much as I can from this 2020 year.  It’s ironic how 2020 means clarity and yet we have so little of it.  But we have a God who can see all things with perfect insight.  So instead of singing the blues I’m gonna work at turning my scars into souvenirs.  And I’m gonna lay my head down tonight and rest in Him.  And that’s not all.  I know now my dad was a lot wiser than me. He had experience with knives and watermelon.  And my heavenly Father…He knows everything and do you know what?  He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne

“Spaghetti Ice”

They called it “spaghetti ice.” I called it heaven on earth. When Judy and I were married I was in the Air Force. About a year later we received orders to serve in Sembach, Germany. Let me just say it was an amazing time. We were newlyweds living in a beautiful country of hills and mountains, lush valleys, incredible evergreen forests and fairy tale castles. Like I said, it was pretty amazing. And it got better when I bumped into spaghetti ice.

We discovered spaghetti ice cream with some friends from church. “It” lived in a small town called Landstuhl. It was about a 15-mile drive to the place that sold this small piece of heaven. It was worth every mile. “What is spaghetti ice?” you say. Well, let me try and describe it to you.

First, imagine (I’m already drooling) a rich vanilla ice cream, pressed through a mold. It goes in looking like ice cream and comes out looking like a four or five-inch mound of spaghetti. Then right in the middle of the ice cream sat a big dollop of incredible whipped cream. Can someone say “amen?” But wait, I’m just getting started.

After its journey through the press they would lavishly cover the ice cream with a strawberry berry sauce. The crowning jewel was an ample sprinkling of finely ground coconut. I’m about to shout “hallelujah!”

Ready to buy your ticket to Landstuhl? The thing that amazed Judy and me was the fact that something so not spaghetti could look like spaghetti. It’s like your eyes were seeing one thing and your tongue was tasting another. The way they pressed it and dressed it make it look like something that it was not. Wait, I think that is what the world wants to do to us.

You see, regardless of the circumstances, there is a constant pressure from the world to press us and dress us like them. We are pressured to think like the world, dress like the world, do business like the world. Shortly after that we start being bitter like the world, hating like the world and fearing like the world. That could be why so many believers are fearful in these corona virus days. They are seeing life and circumstances through the eyes of the world.

But the deal is God says we are different. While He was praying for us, and how cool is that, Jesus said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” Check it out. It’s recorded in John 17:16-17.

That word sanctify is a word that simply means “to be set apart.” When we became one of God’s kids He set us apart from the world. We live differently, speak differently, and do life differently. Now wait. That doesn’t mean we are better than anyone but we are to be different. And that different is to be the magnet that draws others to Jesus.

So, like the ice cream is pressed and dressed to look like spaghetti we will be pressured to be like everyone else. And when we are like everyone else we lose the ability and privilege to share the hope of Jesus. That’s why Paul writes in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Don’t let the world put you through the press rather let God’s Word renew you to look like Jesus. People need hope today. People need Jesus. If that is going to happen we have to resist the urge to become “spaghetti ice” in a world that needs truth–that needs the real deal. Don’t be afraid to be different. Whether the fear comes from the corona virus or being different–we can rest in Him. After all, He’s got this.

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Telling God No…

It was breaking news. “According to local sources a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Southern Illinois yesterday, April 23, at approximately 2:49 pm. Authorities say it was the strongest earthquake to hit the area in decades. The epicenter of the strong quake was traced to Harrisburg, Illinois. In an unusual move, the Center for Seismic Activities was able to trace the center of the quake to 1300 South Feazel Street. More details will follow later.”

Later is now. It was me. I was sitting in one of the offices at Dorrisville Baptist Church solving all the world’s problems (and it was a long list) with two of my friends. In the midst of the conversation it came. My “Dick Tracy” Apple watch vibrated letting me know a message had arrived. It was from our Financial Secretary. She was watching the news.

Governor Pritizker had just announced he was extending the stay at home order until at least May 30th. I stomped my foot and the ground shook. That would mean for five more weeks we couldn’t meet as a church family in our building. It got worse. I then learned I would be required to wear a mask if I went out in public unless I was medically hindered. If stubbornness is a medical condition–I won’t be wearing a mask. Regardless, I stomped my foot and the ground shook.

Never in my wildest dreams could I foresee a time when our church campus would be closed for 10 (pull off your shoes cause you’re gonna need your fingers and toes to count them) weeks. Never. Never could I imagine a time when so many businesses would be closed, so many jobs would be temporarily or permanently lost. Never could I imagine such fear and devastation from an enemy so small I can’t see it. Never.

But God did. God saw it all coming. In fact, we can’t see the end of this and yet He sees it with crystal clarity. I’ve been writing now for weeks that He has “this.” And He does. He has allowed this brokenness in our broken world that will ultimately bring glory to His name and somehow–somehow–bring some sense of good for me–and you. No, no, no–this is not good. He just promised to bring good.

But I stomped my foot and I said “no.” Telling God “no” is never a good idea. I mean, He is God and I am not. He is smarter, wiser, bigger and better than any of us. He never, and I mean, never messes up. He never has an oops–never is caught by surprise. But I stomped my foot anyway. Why?

I stomped my foot out of frustration. I stomped my foot because I want normal. I stomped my foot because I didn’t trust…didn’t trust…didn’t trust God. I stomped my foot because I want my life back…now. You see it is one thing to say I trust the sovereignty of God in your life but quite another to trust it in mine. Isn’t that true for all of us? I don’t mind if God messes with your life as long as He doesn’t mess with mine?

Psalm 14:1 is a really powerful verse. It says, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” God is saying it is a foolish thing to deny His existence. Take a look around. This world is way too incredible to be an accident. It has “God” written all over it. But there is something else here you need to see.

In that same verse, the words “there is” are in italics. That means they are not in the original language. So, it could read, maybe should read, “The fool has said in his heart, “No God.” It is not only foolish to deny the existence of God it is a foolish to tell Him “no.”You see, He really is smarter, wiser, bigger and better than us. He really does love us–a lot. He really does care for us–a lot. He’s got a plan, a good plan, a perfect plan–I promise you. So, Dewayne, quit stomping and start trusting. Rest in Him. He’s got this. He really does.