Friday, February 27, 2009

When you least expect it....

Expectation is a word that's been in my vocabulary for quite a while now.  My first year in ministry the Lord showed me, "Your hunger determines the depth of your Visitation" (which would go on to be the theme of my 5 years of ministry in RHUMC).  How deep your hunger for the Lord/how great your expectation of Him--determines how deep your Visitation from Him will be.

I try to daily walk in expectation of Him.  Believing that He wants to show me something, speak something to me, use me to minister His Kingdom to His people.  The key word there is try.  I am still human and fail and fall into going through the motions.  I go to church on Sunday mornings because that's what we do.  Well three times here lately I've gone to church on a Sunday morning and admittedly not walked in expectation.  Or maybe I was and just not acknowledging it, but either way, God caught me off guard.  Not once, not twice, but three times.  Three times I want to share with you in a span over the next three blogs I'll be writing because according to my husband one would be just way too long!

The first time happened about a month ago.  It was one of the Sundays that the baptismal pool was rolled out at RiverStone (apparently it happens a few times a year).  I knew the baptismal pool would be out.  Being on staff, this was something we discussed at staff meeting, but the depth of what that meant did not sink into my thick skull.  So there I was, at worship and the opportunity for baptism was presented.  Then as people of all ages came forward, professing their need for Jesus, the worship team led us in Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone and out of nowhere I started balling.  Not just balling politely, but the "UGLY" cry.  You know what I mean???  As we sang this song, I could not move.  Was I suppose to be upstairs in the Student Ministry by now?  yes.  Were there a bunch of Middle Schoolers upstairs waiting to have their worship service started?  yes.  Knowing this could I move?  no.  I just sat there like a baby and wept.  Understanding the magnitude of what Jesus did for me and remembering what the Lord delivered me out of and remembering my own baptism was almost too much for this 4'10" girl to handle on that morning.  

I finally somewhat pulled myself together to walk upstairs and my dear husband looked at me and said, "what happened?  you okay?"  All I could muster out was, I have no idea what just happened.  

I made it upstairs and saw our current church planting pastor.  He asked me if I was okay.  I told him that the song Amazing Grace did me in.  I proceeded to jokingly tell him that it's been 8 years since I've come to know the Lord, I shouldn't be crying anymore when I hear songs like Amazing Grace.  He then looked me straight in the eye and said, "Kristin, we should never be in a place that we don't cry over or get moved by what He has done for us."

Those words pierced my heart that day.  They are words that I have pondered over ever since then and how real and true they are.  I am now okay having that ugly cry in front of people I just met 6 months ago if it means sitting in the revelation of what He has done for me.  At the age of 21 He radically changed my life.  I was lost as lost could get.  I had no revelation of who He was or how much He loved me.  Until one day, 2 months before turning 22,  I radically encountered Him.  He became real.  The reality that He loved me in spite of my sin is still to this day too much to handle.  May you enjoy His Amazing Grace today.

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

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