It was October. The day was warm. The equatorial sun was rising and gaining strength as mid day approached. Worship was in full swing for the town church.
The meandering arrivals had slowed and the chairs were filled. The worship songs had us on our feet. The opened tent flaps beat time to the rhythmic cadence of the praise chorus. One song after another. Swahili. English. Luganda. Runyankore. Lingala. Rutoro. Many of the words I cannot directly translate. But the phrases, the idea is clear. We are worshipping a God we need. A God who acts. A God who speaks.
On this particular Sunday, Isaiah called to me. Words from that long ago prophet that spoke right into the depths of my soul. To my heart. I read the words during the worship. I prayed the words during prayer.
And I heard...
“Stand firm, beloved.”
A gentle whisper to my soul as startling as a loud shout. Bold irony.
As the Swahili choruses swirled around me, I returned to prayer.
“What do you mean exactly, Father, when you say ‘stand firm’? Which circumstance do I apply this too?”
“Pick one, beloved. Stand firm. I will make all things new.”
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1Cor 15:58
Many times, I stand--cowered. This is the "old" in my life. The well-rehearsed. The usual.
I obey. But hesitantly. Second-guessing.
But my Father's directive was "Firm". Steadfast. Unflinching.
And I know, from years of painful failing, that this directive is completely impossible for fearing little me.
Which is the point.
He is the point.
Only in Him. With Him. By Him.
I intentionally practice the spreading wide my arms to receive all the His Spirit provides, even the bitter cup. And Stand.
“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads, we went through fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalms66:10-12
Standing firm. (Because He stood first.)
Abundance is always just ahead.