Yesterday I went to Sunday School and Church, as usual, but it wasn't a usual day there. Our preacher and his wife are away on vacation and a young man from our congregation filled the pulpit. Let me back up a bit...
First, Bob was at the podium to open the service with a song, "I've Got So Much To Thank You For." It was the perfect message, and meant so much to all of us, because Bob had suffered a stroke early this year. The man we had known as full of life and energy, had been laid low in a long period of weakness and recuperation. There he stood, with his vibrant personality slowed just a bit, but singing and sharing how he'd been brought back to his new self. This is where the tears filled my eyes.
We went on to sing a hymn..."Marvelous Grace of Jesus". I'd been singing it all day the day before. It's a hymn that speaks loudly to my soul. I am so grateful for God's gracious gifts to me, things undeserved and so abundant. Again, my eyes filled as my heart felt the appreciation for this God who loves me so much, and proves it moment by moment. The next hymn was "I Need Thee Every Hour". Oh yes, I do! He doesn't need me....but without God, I would be lost. I would be stumbling through the darkness, making wrong decisions, turning in wrong directions. How do I know this? Because, in my younger years, I did just that.
Then the choir sang their medley, "Sheltered in the Arms of God/Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." Comfort...knowing that God Almighty shelters me....like a mother hen shelters her chicks beneath her wing, and knowing that I don't have to struggle through life without protection and strength. I can lean on Him through everything that life brings. Special music from two soloists brought, "I Can't Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand" and "God's Grace". By this time, my cup was running over!
But God was not finished blessing me. The sermon was special and spoke directly to me. The altar call was given, and during the last hymn, "Just As I Am" , I prayed...right where I stood, once again aware that I didn't need to do anything to have this fantastic relationship with God. All I had to do was to open myself to the work He'd already done at the Cross. 'Gratitude' doesn't begin to describe what I knew at that moment. Suddenly I found myself lifting the names of those I love before God, and asking Him pour His grace out upon them, whereever they were at that very moment.
Since I believe God hears our prayers and answers them, I knew He wouldn't fail. He has proved over and over in my life, that He cannot fail. Later in the day, I found out just how He'd been answering.
I will share that with you, but... that will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, let me just say that my cup runneth over....