Great is Thy Faithfulness!

If we are Facebook friends, then you may have already seen this link on my page. But I thought I would share it on my blog as well - along with some of my reflections.

God's Repentance

The above is a link to my son's first sermon as assistant pastor at Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, Tennessee. But before I share my thoughts on yesterday's service, I want to share a little background leading up to this occasion.

When Danny first told me (well over a year ago) that he was considering applying for a position with Church of the Redeemer, I had mixed emotions. There was only one reason for my slight discomfort. Church of the Redeemer is an Anglican church.

If you've read my book or know anything about me at all, you know how I was raised. Suffice it to say, a lot of strong biases were cultivated in me as far as certain worship styles; what was right and what was wrong. My preference after leaving the church I was raised in leaned toward non-denominational charismatic. I had never even visited a church that practiced a more liturgical form of worship. And I have to admit that I had no desire to. I thought of that type of worship as dry, formal ritual, and a little too close to Catholicism for my comfort.

I have to honestly tell you that to give you an idea of my itnternal struggle when Danny and I had that first conversation about the possibility of him being an assistant pastor within the Anglican faith. Danny was okay with my discomfort. He told me to feel free to ask him any questions I wanted to. And he told me he understood my apprehension. One of the things I remember him stressing to me was that the most important consideration for him about any church was not necessarily the style of worship. Much more important to him was the uncompromised message of the cross being consistently taught as the central tenet of Christianity. Where we came from, more emphasis was put on other things. The cross was not the primary message we received. In fact, if anything, the role of the cross in salvation was minimized in comparison to our own role in gaining (earning) eternal life.

I really did not believe Danny would be getting into any "danger area" with God for becoming an Anglican. But it was just so foreign to me and so out of my comfort zone. I don't know if I ever even told him how much I was hoping he wouldn't choose this position because I was so determined not to be a meddling mother. I trust the Holy Spirit to do His job. And I know that Danny and Rebecca belong to God, not to me. I believe that the best thing I can do as a mom is to pray for God's will in their lives, support them in their decisions, and not put the burden of my personal preferences (or baggage) on them and their little family. I sincerely want what God wants for their lives, not what Mom wants.

Another position that was being considered for a while would have involved a move to Chicago. And the thought of possibly being separated from my little grandsons was hard at times. But I reminded myself that if that was what God wanted, then that was best and that should be what I want FOR THEM. Even if it wasn't necessarily what I thought was best FOR ME.

Ultimately, Danny and Rebecca felt that God placed them where they are; at Church of the Redeemer. He opened this door and closed the others. And even though my personal preference is still another style of worship, I realize none of this is about me. More importantly, I see God's hand at work so beautifully in their lives. I am thankful that I have learned better how to trust in God's faithfulness and not think that I have to take an active role in controlling or directing the lives of those I love!

I went to Redeemer yesterday with an open heart to receive whatever God had for me in the service; not just to hear my son preach, but to worship with other believers in the style that was their personal preference. Sometimes breaking out of our comfort zone can be a positive thing. And I can honestly say that God enabled me to experience the reverence expressed in this style of worship. What I once would have viewed as empty ritual felt anything but that at Redeemer. Even though it was unfamiliar, I was not at all uncomfortable (like I thought I would be). For one thing, I was surprised and happy to see worshipers raising their hands as they sang (definitely my comfort zone) in an Anglican church.

Toward the end of the service we sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness."

As I sang and contemplated God's faithfulness to me, tears flooded my eyes. I thought about the blessing of witnessing God's hand on my son's life ever since he has been a little boy, culminating in hearing him preach the gospel as an adult. I thought about how far we have both come; from leaving the control of a cult to finding the freedom that is only found in Christ and the gospel. I was holding my grandson, Andrew, (who was being especially cuddly at that moment) and standing next to the most wonderful husband any woman could ever have; the husband God so mercifully provided at such a pivotal time in my life. I was completely overwhelmed with the reality of God's faithfulness to me.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Comments

Danny Bryant said…
The Lord be with you...
Oh my goodness, what more could a mother, wife, grandmother want. Beautiful

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