Back in early July, I shared a post about our historic church receiving a makeover. Getting Things Done with Godtold the tale of our 80- something-year-old building which was in dire need of repairs, but the price tag seemed impossible.
Enter God, who excels at doing the undoable. The miraculous renovation is complete! A few readers asked me to post an update when the work was accomplished. So, here’s the before and after:
🎶”Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she beau-ti-ful?” 🎶
Our little chapel got a new slate roof, beautiful cooper trim, resealed stain glass windows, and…
Custom solid wood doors! Yes, that’s a bicycle lock on the handle. They’re so new they don’t have dead bolts yet.
Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Here’s an original worship song to celebrate the occasion. Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️
It started innocently enough. Friends and family began to mumble in everyday conversation. It got harder to understand them, especially if there was any background noise. “What’s going on?” I thought to myself. “Doesn’t anyone speak clearly these days?!”
Around this same time, I had a telephone conversation with my oldest son. I’m sitting on the back porch one night telling him how it’s been such a dry summer there aren’t any crickets. Of course, I had him on speaker; nobody talks clearly on the phone these days either.🙃
“Hold up, dad. Stop talking,” he said. Several seconds of awkward silence followed. Finally, my son came back on the line. “I can hear plenty of crickets on your end. You should get your hearing checked.”
It was tough for a middle-aged guy to admit, but maybe, just maybe, he was right. What if everyone wasn’t mumbling, and all the crickets weren’t dead? Perhaps the problem was mine.
“But I can hear and understand you fine,” I told the audiologist, sitting in his well-appointed exam room. “Yes, but it’s quiet in here,” he said. “What about when there’s noise in the background–like a crowded restaurant? Do people sound like they’re mumbling? Are they hard to understand?
To make a long story short: a hearing test revealed moderate-to-severe high frequency hearing loss. The prescription? Hearing aids. Just typing these two words sends a chill up my spine.😳
My wife and I talked it over. We decided to make the investment. “But I’m not calling them hearing aids,” I said. “They’re ear buds with accessories.” About a week later, I got my “little helpers,” Suddenly, I heard the strangest things: creaking hinges, the click of an ink pen, crumpling up paper, and crickets!
Ears that hear and eyes that see–the Lord has made them both
Proverbs 20:12 (NIV)
This was the scripture verse for my devotional one recent morning. It was God’s way of saying, “Son, I’ve got this.” He knew I’d been feeling self-conscious about wearing my hearing aids around others. I didn’t want to look weak. It was pride, pure and simple. I kept wrestling.
A few days later, I wore them to church for the first time. I was uneasy during the welcome, while walking around and greeting folks. “Do they see them? What will they think?” But my fears eased as I realized I could clearly understand every conversation!
Later, during the sermon, our pastor talked about turning our doubts over to the Lord. Twice, I heard him say something peculiar (for the context): “Surrender your ears to God.” A few sentences later, for good measure, “Surrender your ears to God.” He said it at least once more, but this time I heard what the congregation did–“Surrender your fears to God.”
Kind reader, like me, has your pride kept you from surrendering something to God? It was a bitter pill–swallowing my self-sufficiency– but, after that Sunday sermon, I gave my ears to The Lord. Is there something you need to give Him?
Now I praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.
The young boy in my music class pounded the tambourine on the floor. This was after I’d demonstrated to everyone how to properly play our classroom instruments.
Visibly frustrated, I confiscated the instrument and commented (in jest): “If you break this tambourine, I’m coming to your house and breaking one of your toys.” The offender gazed at me blankly. However, another little boy spoke up matter of factly.
“God doesn’t do bad things. He doesn’t break toys.”
Five Year Old Super Sage
My little friend had me there. I sheepishly admitted to everyone that he was right and I was wrong.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89:14 (NIV)
God is indeed right and fair and loving and faithful, yet we are prone to blame Him when bad things happen in this world.
For example, I know someone who lost faith in God after her father died during a routine medical procedure. She feels her dad’s life was taken; how could a loving God allow this?
Truly, this is a tragic situation. But is God really to blame? Perhaps it makes more sense for my friend not to believe in doctors.
So, where is God when terrible, evil, and incomprehensible things happen? He’s in the same place He was when His only son’s life was taken: on the throne.