One of the things I love about Sunnybrook Church is that the leadership is committed to the exercise of spiritual renewal. We are encouraged to take one full day a quarter where we spend half of the day in prayer, scripture reading/meditation. I started my day off taking my backpack full of books, my Bible, my IPad, and my journal. I drove out to a local park that has a scenic lake with a couple of docks. As I pulled up the sun was gleaming off of the water and I noticed a family of geese on the shore watching my every move.
On one dock were several retired men fishing. The other dock is a boat dock so no one was out there. That would be my spot. I grabbed my Bible and walked out to the dock. As I sat on the dock I came across Psalm 46. Take a minute to read it.
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shieldst with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress
I believe that God is sovereign and in ways we cannot comprehend causes us to read exactly what He wants us to read at the moment He wants us to read it. If you have followed this Blog for any amount of time you will know that I have struggled with panic & anxiety for going on seven years or so. At times it literally sucks the life right out from me. I have come to believe that God has allowed this to be a part of my everyday life in order that I can bring encouragement to others who struggle with it as well. It’s my thorn in the flesh.
I have also come to realize that I am far better off being kept in complete and utter dependance on Jesus Christ than to be puffed up with pride. I know me. I mean I really know me. If I did not have something keeping me dependent on God, it would be very easy for this guy to get full of himself. But because of His strength working in me each week I realize that I literally can not do what I do week in and week out on stage if it were not for God’s working through me.
Take this past week for example. I was having an extremely hard morning before the first service. I was full of anxiety. So much so that I asked a good friend to come into a back room and pray with me. He did and we really saw God move that morning. The worship was better than it has been in a long time. The Holy Spirit was so noticeably there! I didn’t want to leave the stage. The point is this; God uses our weaknesses for His glory.
So, back to the dock on the lake. I opened up to Psalm 46 and it became the cry of my heart. I began committing it to memory. I walked around the lake reading and quoting it over and over again. All day today I have said to myself “God is my refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble…”
This passage has really spoken to me today. You see the reason for my raise in anxiety levels over the past week is because I have been coming off my anxiety medication for the past month. I am now on nothing. It will take a few weeks for the medication to be completely out of my system. So for now I am trusting and claiming His promises. I am walking one step at a time and quoting scriptures that help me remember that He is with me every step I take. He is what allows me to say like the Psalmist “Be still and know that He is God.” So for this moment I am renewed.