Have you ever been in a church service where the pastor walks up on stage after praise and worship and says something like, “Well, I had a great sermon all planned out to preach on today, but God has other plans for this service, so bring your sermon notes back tonight and we’ll try again,” and then just preaches away? No notes. Just God’s word flowing into him and out of his mouth. I remember several times when my dad (who is a pastor) would say that. I always thought it was the coolest thing ever. I still do, of course. But when I was younger, I didn’t quite grasp the concept of it, so it was a different kind of cool. It was this kind of cool: “Woah…my daddy must be pretty stinkin’ special if God is just speaking to him like that and he can just preach without notes. He must be like royalty or something” (Don’t make fun of me…I said it was when I was little!). But now I think it’s cool because it is a perfect example of God’s power. He can literally do anything he wants. And if He wants a pastor to preach about something he didn’t even study for, He can do it! I mean, isn’t that incredible? God really wants to speak to us. We are so blessed!
Well that’s kinda what this blog is going to be like. I’ve been reading Francis Chan’s newest book, “Forgotten God,” and there was something in there that really stuck out to me, and I thought, “I want to write a blog about that.” Well today when I finally found the time to blog, I went to look for the quote and couldn’t find it. I began to get so frustrated because I really felt like it was something the Lord placed on my heart to share about. So as I was diligently looking for this quote, I just began praying (in a slightly frustrated tone), “God, please show me where it is. I really want to find it.” And it was like He just stopped me and said, “Nope. I want you to write about this.” So here we are. I’m being obedient and writing about something God has placed on my heart today. I’m going to share a story with you. I was really unsure about telling the story because it requires a lot of explaining, which makes it long. But even though the story itself may seem irrelevant, I really feel led to share it because it is a perfect example for this blog. So I apologize ahead of time for the length, but I believe God brought you to this page for a reason.
How often do you take time to appreciate the tiny things God does for you? Or do you even recognize them? I have been reminded several times within the last few weeks of the smallest things God does for me that end up making a huge difference. They may not greatly affect my situation or my life, but if nothing else, they’re like extra reminders of God’s love for me. It’s like a bonus! For those of you who don’t know me well, I’m a music education major, which means I’m in all of the crazy, difficult music classes. This morning I had an individual exam for my Sight Singing and Ear Training II class. To make a long story a tad bit shorter, part of the exam was playing something on the piano. She gave us the music a long time ago so we could practice, but the catch was that we had to play it in a different key for the test. I have been practicing a lot for this test, because the piano part was not coming easily for me. I practiced it in all the keys that were possible on the test, but for some reason I kept practicing it in the key of D. Every time I’d sit down at the piano, I would immediately play it in D, and then I would think, “No. You have to practice the other keys too.” Well, this morning I went into my professor’s office, and she fanned out the pile of cards and told me to draw one. The card would tell me which key I would play the piano part in. I drew a card, turned it over, and what do you know…the card had a big “D” on it. I couldn’t believe it! I really think I was jumping up and down inside. I played the piano part with no problem and finished the rest of my test. I walked out of the office with a 94%! I could not stop thanking God. I know He had His hand on the situation the whole entire time. I could have picked a different card, played it in a different key, messed up a little bit, and made a B on that test. It wouldn’t have really affected my overall grade in the class. It may have been slightly frustrating and disappointing, but nothing major. But God loves me! He loves me so much that He helped me out! He pushed me right along through the whole thing and gave me favor all the way through! Isn’t that amazing?
In the book I’m reading, Francis Chan said something that really caught my attention (and no, it’s not the quote I was desperately looking for earlier). He said, “There’s nothing better than being absolutely sure that the most powerful Being in the universe adores you as His own child.” Wow. Have you ever thought of it that way before? You are adored by God! It’s so easy to be insecure and feel worthless because you feel like the people around you don’t like you or don’t really care. And it’s really hard to not care about that. But we have to realize that the only person whose opinion really truly matters is God, and He loves us more than anything else. He adores us. He created us exactly how He wanted us to be, and He is happy with His creation.
I know that if you grew up in church, this is probably something you’ve heard your entire life, but we can never be reminded of God’s love too much. I just love thinking about it! One more quote from the book: “One of the greatest aspects of being in a relationship with God is the intimacy, security, and encouragement He brings us. It is then we can serve God as a beloved child.” Take some time to thank God for the unconditional love He graciously gives to us, even when we are so undeserving. His love literally makes all the difference in the world.