I’m done mourning. For eight months, I’ve thought of the things I don’t have.
I’m sure those of you who have shared my journey in 2020 have heard my sadness. My denomination did not have campmeeting, preachers’ convention, or revivals. Our services, with the masks and increased distances, have not been our normal. Our attendance is low. People I love have gotten sick.
Last Saturday was the first monthly fellowship meeting that we have had for eight months! Even then, the crowd was smaller than usual. Our denomination’s president cautioned us to guard against disunity. He said that he had received so many opinions from people…and all of them different! Some people called him, worried that our freedoms were being taken away (rightfully so). They felt militant and ready to have gatherings of worship and fellowship. Other people have felt concerned about the coronavirus and the need for carefulness (also rightfully so). They have been ready for us NOT to meet and spread this. We need to give everyone their freedom. This is not a time to divide and take sides.
But what I was feeling was not militant. I’m not ready to picket or protest. Frankly, I’ve been in desperation for the spiritual life of my children. As everything shut down and I watched my youngest two drift, I felt alarmed.
God had worked out so many things with my oldest children, and I could feel my fingers clutching those same things. It seemed like these things were being ripped from my fingers. People who once carried and pulled for my older children are not able to do that now.
What I really wanted was to feel that love and support encircle us. I have been in our services when such power and victory was there. Those services that had influenced and been the turning point in my oldest children’s lives…that’s what I craved! It seemed that the void came at my youngest children’s hour of need.
Things changed two weeks ago. (That would be the week that I told you about when I had voted.) I started telling God, “You have always had a means of grace for my family! You have had a way! And there has to be a way now. Show me that way.”
I didn’t know if God wanted me to go visit someone. If He would say the word, I would load up the van and take the twins somewhere for a week—Indiana, California…I didn’t care where. I knew that I just couldn’t head into the sunset without marching orders!
And I knew that God was faithful, and He would give us means of grace. John Wesley talked about these ways that we could open up our heart (like prayer, fasting, and worship), allowing God to work in us…if we look for it.
What I thought these children needed may not have been what they needed. I have watched things unfold in the last two weeks in a way that I did not think of. My heart is in awe! God is at work!
I remember praying for my late pastor Tommy Wade. We wanted to gather around the altar and pray that he be healed. I remember how careful he was to pray for God’s will. He was so sure that he was in God’s hands and that God knew best. God’s presence came as we prayed, and I knew that God had taken Bro. Tommy’s case. But it wasn’t to be healed; it was to go home to heaven. Bro. Tommy had such confidence in God that he had a calm submission.
It’s time for me to submit. The Lord runs my life. If He has allowed a virus to change the way we meet and our worship schedule, I say, “Yes and amen!” I submit knowing that there WILL be means of grace. I’ve been looking for these means, these methods extended to us. As I wake up in the night, I’ve been looking. As I go about my work in the day, I’ve been looking. God has given me the assurance that He is working.
I’m done mourning about what I don’t have. I’m looking for what I DO have—what God is going to give us. I am expecting the means of grace.
II Corinthinans 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: