Just say yes.

Went to the Clarkston church yesterday to do a special music, and... it went well! I mean, not that I'm TOTALLY surprised, because we did practice (some), and we're all naturally musical (some). But I guess I just get a little jumpy when it comes to music for church, because it's for church. What I'm trying to say is that you're in the sanctuary, God's house, presenting music to him and to everyone who's there, and I think it's important that it goes well. It's different than being outside. I just feel that, in God's house, everything should go smoothly and without fuss, calmly and beautifully. It doesn't always happen, but I want my part to be that way. And it was! The rising tide of nervousness almost swept me away in the first few stanzas, but I prayed and got a grip on myself (put it in perspective), and that quenched the fear. It also helps that I did it last week, too.

And then, the sermon was incredible. At first, I was kinda shocked, because, as he said, he's not you're typical theology student. But he is very confident, and I think that comes from God. It's not self-confidence, but a "I'm not afraid of what you think, even if I look weird/foolish/etc." Oh, what I wouldn't give to not fear people's opinions. Yes, I'm still ruled by, "will I look stupid?" "what will they think of me?" "what if they don't like me anymore?" Argh! I want to be free of those shackles! And it's happening... slowly but surely. Slooooooooooowly but surely. Heh.

Anyway, Chad shared his testimony interwoven with his chosen portion of Scripture--Ezekiel 36:23-28. Israel is being exiled (again) to Babylonia, including Ezekiel, who's writing the book, and as they're marching off to Babylonia, they're crying out to God, "What are you doing to me? What are you doing???"

We think too much. God says, "I will... sanctify my great name, be sanctified in you before the heathen's eyes, take you from among the heathen, give you your own land, sprinkle clean water over you, cleanse you, give you a new heart, put my spirit within you, cause you to walk in my judgments, be your God.

He is going to do all these things. All we have to do is say, "Yes."


Can it be that simple?

You've gotta be kidding me.

But, yes. All we have to do is say, "Yes."

He had a rough background similar to mine--dysfunctional family, alcoholic/druggie father, sexual abuse (and probably other kinds of abuse, too)... but God has plucked him out of that... because he's learned to say, "Yes".

I know that doesn't guarantee no struggles. (Oh, that would be so nice!) But, as a jeweler doesn't waste his time cutting and polishing common gravel, El Shaddai does not waste his time by cutting and polishing unless there is something of value there. And, eventually, he will hold me up to the light and see his reflection in my clean, bright facets. How long that will be? I have no idea. But it's happening.

Can I please hold onto this thought for the dark times I know are coming? They seem to be inevitable. Maybe I should stop wasting valuable energy trying to escape the darkness, and use it to cling to the light while I'm in darkness.

"Like a lighthouse guiding those who are lost, true hope shines on, and even the blackest darkness cannot overcome the power of its light. Even death itself cannot overcome hope. When it is built on the Rock, it will stand."

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