The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. John 1:41-42 NIV
“I’m just a nobody! I can’t do anything!” Richard cried and sadly proclaimed to Larry in his halting speech. His countenance mirrored the turmoil going on within. Dejected, frustrated, of little value were feelings that clamored in his cerebral palsied body.
Larry gently and compassionately answered him. “Richard, it was you who faithfully got on the church bus each week by yourself. During verbal prayer requests, you would say, ‘Pray for my brother, Larry.’ One night at a youth rally I heard the message of Jesus’ love and forgiveness so committed my life to Christ. I started attending church with you and was told of your faithfulness in having others pray for me. Later I was called by God into the ministry. There’s something you need to realize, Rich, that for all the lives that were touched and changed in this ministry, it really started with you. Think of the people in heaven who will rejoice in how faithful you were to pray. The results–eternity we all get to enjoy with God!”
Richard responded with a simple word of surprise -“Really?” to which Larry replied, “Really!” His tears disappeared, replaced with a joyful heart reverberating within as he glimpsed God’s plan from the beginning…
My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in (your) weakness. KJV
People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed him off. Jesus called them back. “Let those children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy.” Luke 18:15,16 (MSG)
Sitting at the front of the church, dangling my legs, at the end of the third pew near the center aisle; I sat in my Sunday best among all the other children. I tried not to fidget or to gawk at others around me but it’s hard when you’re only five years old. It was difficult enough to behave myself when I sat with my parents in the back, but now I was in their line of vision, too, with the speaker nearby right in the front of us.
My ears perked up, my eyes opened wide, my attention captured as my heart’s door began to slowly swing open with awareness. Was the big people’s God really interested in me? Had Jesus given his life to forgive the naughty things I had done? He really wanted me to be His child and live forever with His Dad and best friend–the Holy Spirit?
These hands pushed off the pew, little feet hit the floor as I flowed to the front and bowed my head. I wanted this big, wonderful God to fill my heart, claim me, knowing I was His own pride and joy all along. It was then I became aware of Him having adopted me into His very own family long ago before I was ever born. I was so happy!
Do not fear for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:1B,2A (MSG)
The panic arose as I, a child, could tilt my head enough to see the creek surface above continuing to amble along. I had slipped off the swimming tube, somehow, and didn’t know what to do next. Time marched by and I knew I was drowning. Just when I needed a rescuer the most, my uncle saw my hair floating on the water and pulled me to the surface. No CPR was used as my body combated all the extra water within. However, I knew lying there on the bank that I was going to recover… I had been saved.
In “Oceans” by Hillsong United is the lyrics for life surrounded by God’s presence.
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now…
I am Yours and You are mine.
God, when fears apparent or imagined come into my life, You summon me by name and promise to be with me through the varied streams, rivers or oceans that swirl around me.