July 5, 2009 (again) …
When I went into the “sanctuary,” B was happy to see me. He said he just had a feeling I would be there this morning, which was the reason he came, otherwise, he said, he probably wouldn’t have come! So that was confirmation that You led me to go this morning! I know he has been discouraged about this church and has been thinking about going to another church… And then in the service, K gave the announcements, and at the end she said she wanted to thank B for his faithfulness with the coffee bar!
I’ve heard that one or more of my kids doesn’t like to go to “that church” because “that church” hurt ME so much. I was surprised to hear that, and have kept thinking about it, because I couldn’t remember things that hurt “me” particularly, at least not recently… though I have felt hurt about how others have been hurt. But now I am thinking that 1. I was hurt (many times) but tried to forget it, and 2. I probably did a lot of hurting others, too, because when I was hurting, I talked a lot… and it was gossip… and poisonous! Even that discussion a couple weeks ago was in that category (sorry….)
Well, this morning in the “church service” when the singing started I still felt uncomfortable. I didn’t like the feeling that I HAD to stand up. I didn’t like the rows, I didn’t want to sing… I was looking around and grumbling to myself (J calls it “G-rumbling!” ), and then You told me to close my eyes, and when I did I started to focus on You, and found myself first humming, and then singing along, too (without really realizing it at first)…
In the “greeting” time, the pastor told everyone to say to each other, “I am glad you are here today,” and I felt awkward about that, too… but as more and more people said it to me (and I started to say it, too, instead of just replying, “Me, too”), I realized that I was glad to be there… and glad to see those people, too. (I think I have been scared to be glad to see them because then I might miss them and want to be part of Sunday church – and who knows what else… yikes… again!
The pastor preached about Naaman being healed. Two things stood out to me. First, he talked about the little Israelite maid/servant-girl who told Naaman’s wife about the prophet in Israel who could heal Naaman’s leprosy. And he said, what if your whole purpose in life was just one little seemingly insignificant thing, how would you feel about that? Would you be willing to do that one little thing, and for the rest of your life just live ordinary, day after day? … And I was thinking, “Oh no! It wasn’t so long ago that I really came to that point… of being willing to give up all my dreams and aspirations and recognition… and this very morning wanting to pray (and receive answers from) big, impossible, significant requests and dreams/visions….” Hmmmmm….
Anyway, the pastor also talked about how Naaman reacted with rage when Elisha didn’t even bother to come out and talk to Naaman, this great man, coming bearing great gifts; but instead just sent his servant to tell Naaman to go plunge in the Jordan 7 times… Anyway, then the pastor invited people who needed healing to come forward to be prayed for, and he said, “If you have something in your life, like a “root of bitterness” or whatever, that is coming between you and God, come forward to let it go, confess it, give it over to Him if you want to be healed.”
Papa, I didn’t feel I need physical healing, but I DID want to give up to You, and be cleansed from and healed from, my negative attitudes and hurts regarding this church… which I just really realized this morning at the prayer and service YOU told me to attend! Lord, I didn’t want to go up to “stand and be prayed for, and be anointed with oil” because… well, I wanted to kneel, not stand… and I was SCARED of giving people the idea that maybe I am “back to this church” … and then walking home I also realized (and felt hurt, and kind of angry at You about) that whenever (in my memory, at least) I’d go to the front of this church, in the past, mostly no one would pray with me, and it seems like almost none of those prayers were answered! (Why, Papa???)
Papa, I don’t want to go back and get tangled up in politics and programs and other paraphernalia! I DO want to be part of a “one-another” group (church! body! family!). But, oh Lord, I don’t want to get dragged down again/ more!
Father, I’m so tired….
(Oh, I DO want what YOU want re this church… and I DO want to let go those hurts of the past as well as my anger and attitude toward it… I really am sorry… And yes, I am willing to have one tiny insignificant purpose if that is what YOU want for me… perhaps it is really what I NEED, what YOU know is best for me!)
(later yet again!) Scripture reading for today: 1 Timothy 4:14 “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.”
Papa, is this why I’m never sure what my spiritual gift(s) is, or even if I have one? Is this the “prescribed” way to receive spiritual gift(s)? (Because if it is, I want to be next in line!) (Please…)