She had lost her way.
If she pondered the reasons and directions for too long, then doubt might overwhelm her faith.
She faced a brick wall.
She faced a dead end.
She came to the end of dry land and now faced only the sea.
There was no where else to go.
Then the psalmist replied:
I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.
You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed.
Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook.
Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
Psalm 77:1-19, NLT
What a powerful word of God!
The scripture passage above was in my one-year Bible today. It reminded me so much of several situations, and of people who are struggling to find their way.
This living word of God was like an answer, a shining compass, a rallying cry from the Ancient of Days!
It is just one edge of the map our Heavenly Father provides, showing how we can keep going even when we can’t see or know the way.
This passage fired me up, and prompted me to finally start publishing some of the drafts I made throughout the week.
My prayer is that I can tie in, or sew together, several stories that create one tapestry of testimony that gives all glory to our Lord.
I had already been in Memphis for three days and had attended the conferences I came for, so staying until Sunday was a bonus (one that I wanted and needed). However, I considered leaving Saturday because I didn’t want us to pay for another hotel night, and I like to get home and have downtime after traveling, before returning to work on Monday.
So, I stayed. And, I ended up having a brief, but divine appointment in the hotel lobby at 6:30am with a woman who now has the new journal I purchased from the conference. It was titled, Great is Your Faithfulness.
Maybe she was the reason why I needed to stay another day. I had been all the way out in the parking lot loading my car, struggling with the Holy Spirit’s urge that I should’ve spoken to her Saturday morning when we first saw one another. Then, there she was again Sunday morning as I checked out.
That’s for another post. ❤️
I arrived at my former pastor’s church an hour before the first service would even begin (after discovering that nothing is open in Cordova, Tennessee on Sunday morning that sells a sewing kit). That’s also another post inspired by a young woman I only know as Dori.
I had been waiting on something all weekend.
Although I had a notebook full of highlights, revelations and action points from seven different messages/sessions I attended (7am-9pm Friday & 8am-12:30pm Saturday) led by several Lifeway speakers, including Donna Gaines and Beth Moore – things still weren’t settled in my spirit.
I attended the early service in hopes of starting my nearly four-hour drive home as soon as possible. I walked around this huge church and talked with the Lord, just to soak it all in.
After the first service, I was fortunate to quickly say hello to those I came to see.
He was going to preach the same sermon that I’d just heard. I could even listen to the livestream as I drove home if there was something I missed the first time.
The music was different in the second service. I love times of worship. I was glad that I stayed for this, and my plan was to ease out when the music ended and get on the interstate before church traffic began.
Then, during the last song, it was one that I’d not heard before – the lyrics caused me to catch my breath.
“When you do what only You can do.”
This might not be an especially memorable song to some, unless you had prayed those specific words early that morning in your hotel room…because you’ve been facing a brick wall.
In several situations, I thought I had done everything that I could do – using right and wrong tactics – over many, many months.
I have prayed for the Lord to break down walls, but to please not let it hurt too much for those involved. I’ve asked Him to do it gently.
Then, on my face Sunday morning, before seeing the woman in the hotel lobby, before attending the two church services, before the song or the pastor’s words – I finally tell God to do what only He can do – to do whatever He has to do – to restore the joy of Your salvation.
There’s a path we cannot see yet, but He does.
The song ends that has captivated me. Bro. Steve doesn’t begin his sermon right away, but instead asks the worship team to back up the song, so we can sing it again.
What he then said is what I have tried to record in my journal snapshot below.
Because after he spoke, and I joined those who gathered with him, the “STAY” feeling lifted, and I knew it would now be okay to go home.
Spirit of the Living God.
It changes us.
It changes what we see and what we seek.
When You move, You move all our fears.
When You move, You move us to tears.
Come now and breathe upon our hearts.
Come now and have Your way.
We want to hear Your voice.
We’re hanging on every word.
When You do what only You can do…
It changes everything.
Spirit of the Living God.
Hey, and that was just the worship service. 🙌🏽🙌🏼🙌🏾
The message from Bro. Steve was equally on point with my life recently.
Dr. Steve Gaines, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN.
🎶🎶 Related Playlist 🎶🎶
And a very special pathway dedication song: