In The Hands of God


Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach. The Protestant...
Image via Wikipedia

 

I’ve had quite the week.  

DOWN: How do I describe promoting a concert for three months only to find out the Non Profit putting on the fundraiser never had a signed contract?  

UP: I was upset over this deal gone bad when a  friend calls me back – from the airport mind you – while he’s traveling, to talk me through the whole contracts and clauses issues. While it doesn’t fix the problem I experienced, they still make me feel better because I know I am not alone, nor am I the first person on the planet to ever get into a pickle. Talking to my friend, left me feeling blessed and dearly loved.  

BIG DOWN: Then I find out there is a slight possibility that someone may try to have me excommunicated if I participate in an event that I have been participating in on and off since 2000. Why? Because our synod doesn’t agree with their synod therefore – no playing together in the sandbox. You can call it politics if you want, but I call it being a self-righteous uhm.. donkey.  

I wasn’t in a good mood the day I was told I might be kicked out,  and I made our music director cross himself when I stated — What can man do to me? My salvation is secure so, tell them to Bring it!  

Can I let you in on a little secret here – being kicked out of the church has always been my biggest fear – until this week. I’m not afraid anymore. For the first time in my entire life, that fear has no power over me.  

It’s been a roller coaster week full of joy and deep hurt for this body of Christ. I’ve been praying, reading, talking, and trying to listen to God. I was also complaining a bit about how silent I thought he was being here. I mean did he want me to sing or not? Can I live with the consequences of my choices or not? Will he be there for me or not?  

Some days I look back over my life, remembering all the times the church said no, and I was on the outside looking in. Time and time again I see how “the church” or whomever I was associating with the church seems to fail me. I’m selective in my reverie at those times and tend to leave out all of the good that comes with the church as well.  

 Monday was one of those selective memory days. It was also a peanut butter and hot-fudge sundae for dinner kind of day.  At least it was before God reached into my broken and hurting heart in a way only He can. I was sitting in my truck, waiting for my son to come back with our sundaes, and talking to God about all of the mess of it. I was wondering if they really will kick me out and how will that impact my family, and it’s just a rumor God, but could they really do it? Why do all these things happen? Will I ever find peace in the church? How do I get through this?  

 Out of the blue I’m hit with this realization:  

Satan was afraid of me.  

In that same moment that my heart remembers a song I haven’t heard in ages: In Christ Alone.  

Those two truths hit me with such emotional force that all I could do was cry.  

God not only heard me, but he speaks to me as well.  

Just when I thought I was ready to bag the whole Lutheran thing, God brings me to a web page I didn’t now know existed in Synod called Jesus First Leadership. JFL appears to support the same causes and mind-set towards missions that my husband and I hold dear. I don’t know enough about them yet to really know anything, but for today it was enough.  

And just in case those things weren’t enough, God also brought me to this quote today in my readings:  

Once when Martin Luther was at the height of his struggles with the Roman Church, someone asked him what he would do if the princes and their supporters deserted him. “Where will you be then, Martin?” he was asked. The bold reformer replied, “I will be where I have always been, in the hands of God.”  

My hope isn’t found in things, concerts, non profits, or man. My hope is found in Christ alone. The God who not only hears my heart, sees my pain, but responds to me with Grace, love and an affirming touch.  

Have you ever felt like Satan was out to get you?   

Did you ever stop to wonder why?   

Where do you place your life, your needs, your hurts and your hopes?   

Do you place them in food (like I can), alcohol, work, relationships, yourself?   

Or do you place them in Christ Alone, the author and protector of our faith.  

9 thoughts on “In The Hands of God

  1. Deana,
    I quite literally burst into tears as I read your “Confessions” and the comments below. After spending July in Houston my heart and soul have been weary for our church.

    I am that Jesus First Leader my co-worker Pam referred you to. (Thank you Pam.) I will be overjoyed to place you on our mailing list. You may send me you email address/snail mail address to my email listed above. It will be kept confidential.

    Thank you for reminding me on this Monday morning, of the hope and faith we have in CHRIST ALONE! We continue to fight the good fight. Pray that we will find workers to come along side my collegues and me.
    God Bless You

    Thank you for giving me that shot of faith and hope found in Christ Alone – but I confess, I sometimes fail to remember.

    God Bless You

    Like

  2. I know they have a newsletter because I’ve heard more than once, “I won’t be in until later today…have to work on the JF newsletter.” I’ll find out today how you can get on their email list.

    Blessings on your day!

    Like

  3. I haven’t even read the other responses to your post. I was so excited to tell you that my pastor and my co-worker are heavily involved with/actually leading the Jesus First charge. I believe they were involved with starting it. I’m so glad God led you to their site. There ARE as many, if not more, good, loving, non-judgmental people in the Lutheran church (and Christianity as a whole) as there are unfortunately judgmental ones. Satan would not have you know that.

    I love that God gave you the song, In Christ Alone, at that moment. People will always fail us. Our families, our friends, and yes, our church. They are all as human and fallible as we are. Satan will always try to make us focus on them. But in Christ alone our hope is found!

    Like

    1. Pam that’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. Jeff and I pull at each other a lot. He was raised Lutheran, me no. Finding that page was wonderful for both of us because it reinforced what he knew to be true about LCMS all along, we’re just not as exposed to that here anymore.

      I’m trying to figure out how to stay connected with Jesus First, do they have a mailing list?

      Like

  4. They can kick you off the numbers of their roll, but they can NOT kick you out of the Body of Christ…they do not have that much power…and isn’t that really all that matters? Years ago, I was excommunicated from the religious organization I actively attended, supported and loved…all because I disagreed with something I found in the Bible that they taught wasn’t there…
    and after several days of heartache, panic, and fear of being sent to hell, I realized the truth in that first sentence of this post. So after my “trial”, I sent them a thank you note for freeing me from their legalistic control. I still attended occasionally, just to show them that they had not “won”…
    stick to your guns, Deana. If it can not be condemned in the Bible, it can not be condemned on earth, and I can not see you supporting anything that could be condemned by our Loving Father!

    Like

    1. Wow Rena, had you told me that before? I don’t think you did. That must have been a rough time. I’m really not worried, it’s just someone with no real power trying to be a bully. I’ll be fine. I just want to sing.

      Like

  5. Love the video. Bookmarked it.

    Another thought from the Old Testament (which Jesus mentioned in the New Testament) –
    After Elisha the prophet was used to heal the leper Naaman by washing 7 times in the Jordan River, this Syrian general came to a faith in the living God. (2 Kings 5) But the general was worried that as part of his duties he was to go to pagan temple and it may appear he was worshipping there. Elisha said, “Go in peace.”
    God knew Naaman’s heart, so the prophet had assured him so.
    Likewise any church should heed that many times our business may take us to places some may not approve – even a different synod, but if we heed Elisha we can “go in peace.”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s