A Babe Was Born, Did You Miss It?
One prayer that I frequently pray for myself is: “God help me to see you move today in my life or someone else’s. God don’t let me miss you today!”
Today in church was a pretty typical service, except that it really wasn’t. The strange thing is that I guarantee you most people missed it. We went through the typical things -singing the songs, reading the scriptures, praying for people in need, getting a word from the pastor…and then the closing song. The closing song was a pretty ordinary song, (so much so that I don’t remember the words or what it was even called). However, there was a gentleman in the very back row with his wife so moved by the song, and the Christmas spirit, that at the end of the song he shouts “Hope was born!” Now it wasn’t so loud that people on the other side of the church would hear it, but it was loud enough that those in rows close to him were startled, except, dear reader, for me.
I just had to smile for several reasons. First let me say, I go to a Catholic church and in many ways it is not your stereotypical Catholic church. On the other hand, we are not a catch the holy ghost type of church and other than shouting an occasional “amen” in response to my pastor’s direction of “let the church say amen” we don’t do a whole lot of shouting. I just had to smile at this man’s enthusiasm for God. I just had to smile at him and his wife singing out during the service so loudly, that I could hear them a few rows away. This unusual outburst was not constricted by what others around him would think and was an overflow of his joy and his joy was contagious! This man was all Psalm 98:4 style: “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music!”
I just had to smile because “Hope” is a key phrase that God has been using to minister to me in this season. I smiled thinking, “look at you God using a man’s praise as a way to bless me!” Plus I thought about how close we are to Christmas and how we are literally celebrating the Hope of the world’s birth. HALLELUJAH JESUS!!! HOPE IS BORN!!!! And of course I had to smile because one of my nicknames is Hope. The Lord keeps telling me something big is going to happen so I just have to keep pressing on, keep hoping and standing on his promise. So yea God!!! Hope is born! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in my life in this coming year!
So there I was beaming at the excitement of the season and silently rejoicing with this man of what God is doing. All the while I see a few older ladies huddled together whispering. I see a few other panicked and confused faces after service that were sitting over in the part of church where I sit. As a walk a little closer to the huddle of ladies, they look disturbed and I hear them asking each other what the man said. I smiled and said loudly he said “HOPE IS BORN!” They responded with a simple “oh!” with relief on their faces. One lady shared that with all the danger going on in the world how she was scared and didn’t know what he said and had assumed the worse. I left the group of ladies to sort out for themselves what just happened.
I kept it moving to the other part of the sanctuary where I was eagerly looking forward to say hello to my church friends. This is sacred time for me. Just like in my first post A Glimpse of Heaven I really enjoy spending time with my church family. As I moved to the other part of church, everyone was acting casually and was unphased by the unusual outburst that happened on my side of church. I could tell that most of the people on the other side of church probably didn’t even hear this man’s shout. The Lord spoke to me and was telling me they missed it! They have no idea what happened, even the people who were right there next to this man missed what he said. But you my child were looking for me and you found me!
There will be times in your life where God will have a word just for you or show favor just to you because of your obedience and your expectation and belief that He will move on your behalf. Others around you will not understand what is happening, they might even miss it. The Lord has had me in a season of great preparation for the next phase of my life. Because I went to church with an expectant heart I did not miss Him when he was on the move. Praise God! Every Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Yet, there was only a handful of people, including the three wise men, who had a upclose chance to experience the actual birth of Jesus. So many people during Jesus’ time missed it. Sometimes we can be so busy with everyday life, the struggles of life or life’s distractions that we can miss God in our very midst.
John 2:9 “…the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew…”
This scripture references the work that is done behind the scenes when we are obedient and diligent to the work that God calls us to do. Often this work may go unnoticed by others, but know that God sees you! It is the person that is DOING the work of God that will get to see Him moving so I encourage you to press on in your work and keep your eyes peeled! Dear reader, focus on God in this season and don’t miss him!
I will leave you with the words of a poem from my friend Scott Andrew James that really encouraged me today!
is not waiting
for us to ask it
to shine– it is waiting
for us to notice
that it has been there
and it has
our turn to dance
by Scott Andrew James