Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Right on Red

There was a time not so very long ago when I thought of life as one big chess game. In my mind's eye I'd plot out strategic moves, then make counter strikes for the desired outcome. I always felt that if I weren't careful or mindful enough, I was in danger of being checked at any given time.

What an exhausting mindset! If Dr. Phil had been in my head, he would have asked his infamous, "so how's that been working for ya?" question. Not having Dr. Phil to nudge me, my learning curve proved a bit long and steep.

However, I did eventually learn to live differently and I now know better. My heart now accepts and understands that despite what we may think, we are usually right where we're supposed to be. I say "usually" because many times even seasoned believers get impatient. Even though we know we are not in control of things, our wants and desires urge us to go for it anyway because in that flashpoint moment, we think we know what's best. We say to God, "I'll take it from here" with the hope that he not only understands but agrees with us too! Are we delusional?

Yes, I know waiting and staying in a holding pattern can be tough. Been there; done that, designed the tshirt. It's alot like sitting in a plane waiting on the runway for takeoff clearance --or even worse, circling high in the sky above your destination point when you are anxious to land and get to where you are supposed to be.

Can you imagine how much easier it would be for you if you took control over the cockpit? Things would then happen according to your needs, wants and timeline. Sounds good, right? Wrong! When you take control you are essentially taking control over God's cockpit and flight plan. But wait, what if you were being delayed for a reason? What if God wanted you right where you were at that very moment? Maybe it was for your safety, maybe you were supposed to talk to someone or maybe he was moving things on the other end for your benefit. This is a time for trusting in faith, not cursing your misfortune or inconvenience. When delays or detours happen and you don't underestand why, pray on it.

"...he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:6

Or, maybe God is setting something up and positioning people and events like a heavenly chess game-- not for you but for someone else. Maybe, you are someone else's divine appointment. You never know what God has planned but make no mistake, there is a purpose and nothing is random.

Not too long ago a single mom somewhere in Tennessee stood by her car off a busy hightway in the pouring rain looking at a flat tire with a sinking heart. With little money and no one to call, she didn't know what else to do but pray. She asked the Lord to help her out because she was alone and scared. On the other side of the highway, a man from out of state was driving on his way to a job assignment. He normally wouldn't have been traveling on that road at that time but had decided to get to his hotel earlier in order to be rested for the next day. He looked over to the other side of the highway in time to see the woman standing by the side of the road. Something about her looked familiar to him so he made the first u-turn to get to her side of the road. And indeed, they knew one another! He recognized her as a waitress from the restaurant he frequented when working at the out of state assignment. He wasn't supposed to have been on that road at that time yet God had put him there in answer to her prayer. God put him there so she wouldn't be in danger from strangers.*

Some may think this was simply a case of good luck or merely coincidence. Those of us with faith see it as divine intervention. So, the next time you want to take matters into your own hands, wait. Wonderful things may come your way, things you never imagined nor dreamed of. Or it just may be as simple as an answer to a prayer for help to change a flat tire. Whatever God's reason, let him be at the steering wheel and be patient. It's not your trip, it's his.

"Wait for the Lord," Psalm 37:34

*true story told to me recently by one of the people involved in that incident

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Music to Soothe your Soul

Tenth Avenue North
By Brielle Coronet

I don’t always read every part of a cd’s insert. You know, the places where the band gives all the obligatory thank you’s to friends, family, producers etc. I generally stick to the heart of the music; the lyrics. For me, seeing those words in black and white brings a new understanding and appreciation most of the time.

But, for some reason I decided to read what Tenth Avenue North had to say. I was curious about this band hailing from West Palm Beach, Florida because their music brought me great comfort during a time of need.

A few weeks ago I was all alone in a busy hospital emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack (and so did everyone else for that matter). All I had with me was my i-pod jam packed full of Christian music. Shaking from fear and with my heart racing like I had just performed in an Olympic track and field event, these words from the song, Hold My Heart brought me quiet comfort:

“One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If you’re everything you say you are
Would you come close and
Hold my heart?”

I listened to those words over and over again, praying for my Lord’s healing touch. After maybe the umpteenth replay, I realized with a start that for the first time since my conversion nearly four years ago, my professed faith was being tested. This was my moment of truth. With the rubber hitting that proverbial road, was I really ready?

I was.

And, so with my eyes closed, acutely aware of my body doing its own thing, I relinquished earthly control and submitted to Jesus. I was in His hands and whatever His will, so be it.
Soon, I felt a warm presence by my hospital bed. Was it our Lord or an angel? I can’t say. All I know is I felt no fear, just peace. At this time, I was listening to another song. I believed the promise of Tenth Avenue’s #1 2009 hit, By Your Side. This song was still at the top of the charts this past February.

“I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
Please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you,
My hands are holding you…
And, I want you to know
That I,
I’ll love you
I’ll never let you go”

You don’t have to be experiencing crisis to enjoy the music of Tenth Avenue North but should you ever need music to soothe your wounded heart or soul, they are the right band for the job.

If you like Jars of Clay, Mercy Me, The Afters, Snow Patrol or Rush of Fools, then Tenth Avenue North’s cd, “Over and Underneath” will become a favorite in your collection. Enjoy!

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17

A new life has begun! II Cor 5:17
God's GPS