In a previous post below I told of being forced by God to stay in one place and be blessed by the wonder of His creation. Look below for Just In From Utah.
While it was a terrific time, it also left me with little time to plan for the monthly gathering of our prayer groups at church. I was blessed to lead my fellow prayer warriors in worship. This was a non-denominational Christian church with the usual kind of service. Sort of straight-laced but loving. I thought just for something different I would ask a dear friend, schooled in the old ways to lead us in a liturgical service. I was really looking forward to it.
Then I got stuck in the desert during what should have been my worship planning and practice with my guitarists. All the rest of the 8 hour drive home I tried to think of songs that we knew, that would fit with the service my friend was going to lead us in…nothing. I was panicked. I prayed and prayed while going through our music library but nothing. I had been sensing that this service was supposed to be very special. That God was going to move in a very obvious way – but I was going to let Him down with my part.. I finally got to the church a couple of hours early. I liked to set the stage for worship with various candle arrangements. We usually kept the lights dimmed and lit the service with candles representing the many prayers of the groups that were meeting for worship. I digress.
After I got the candles set, I sat in the corner and reminded God that He still needed to give me the worship songs and by the way, where were my guitarists? I must have looked like a deer in the headlights when my precious friend and mentor Carol walked in. She always helped me with the candles. I told her what was going on and she told me that maybe God didn’t want music for this service. I almost hyperventilated.
Then she said something that changed my life.
“Judy, if this service goes perfectly and people are incredibly blessed, can you take the credit for it?”
Shocked, I told her of course not.
“Then you can’t take the blame either.”
Freedom flooded my soul.
By now it was about 6:45, only 15 minutes before the service was to start. A good friend of mine decided out of the blue to come to our service. He had previously been the music minister at the church. I picked a few song sheets that I had brought and he said he’d be happy to play. His guitar was in the car. We quickly strummed through some standard choruses and thought they fit. We knew them well. Everybody did.
At 7 PM my pastor friend walked in and behind him was my best volunteer guitarist. We all settled into our places, the candles were lit and all the prayer warriors turned their hearts to worship.
From the first note and the words of gathering God’s people in, something started to happen. We were no longer in the children’s church room – we were in God’s holy temple. As we said the ancient words of the liturgy spoken by the great cloud of witnesses that had gone before us for 2000 years, we were the church. Somehow we were joined by other voices of the neverending praise that is constantly before the throne of God. By communion time, all of us were on our knees, some on their faces. I was crying and singing and praying as led by my blessed pastor friend. The room seemed to be filled with the smoke of incense. I’ll never forget that night.
I try always to remember what an incredible thing God did and allowed me to be a part of. He showed me that He will take full responsibility for everything we hand over to Him and in my inability, bless me. He gets all the credit.
I know most of you believe I’m a little crazy and I won’t deny it…but it really happened. I can give you the names of people that were there. Sane people. People who know…
God has always cared for us.