I am going to attempt to summarize what just happened, but rest assured, I can do it NO justice. There really are no words to express the way, as The Hubby said, "God just exploded out of the box I had put Him in."
"Hope at the Cove" became "Hope in my heart."
Hope that God follows through on promises.
Hope that prayers of the faithful are powerful and effective.
Hope that Jesus fills all voids, with no discrimination.
Hope that the Holy Spirit's indwelling can lead to incredible richness.
Hope that God can, and will, use his people in Mighty Ways... if we just get out of the way!
I saw my friends, our small group, my brothers and sisters in Christ-- BEING the body of Christ. It's no coincidence we were studying 1 Corinthians 12 in BSF this week. I got to see it LIVED OUT.
"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is apart of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having fits of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts." -1 Cor. 12: 27-31
I prayed for opportunities to grow relationships beyond this evening... that this banquet would be a spring board. But what? What can I do with these new friends and share the love of Jesus? The first words from a gal I sat with, "I like your scarf." HA! Yes! I see a late-evening-scarf-making-coffee-drinking-treat-enjoying event on the horizon. THANK YOU, LORD!
I prayed for hearts to be moved. Then, I sat at a table with one gal, and five men-- most of whom were mid-40s or older. As our friend got up to introduce the group games, the Holy Spirit just poured out of him. He said to the crowd, "We have been praying for you. We love you, and this night is not just one event. It's the start of a long-term relationship. You're going to get sick of us." And then he paused, "You don't receive enough recognition." The gal at my table said, "That's nice to hear-- I'm getting choked up." And then he said, "God sees you." And with that we all-- including the five guys-- wiped tears from our cheeks. Hearts were moved. THANK YOU, LORD!
I even prayed that this evening wouldn't be a burden on our sweet babysitter. When we got home, she told me that she had enough quiet time to get all of her homework done for the whole week. THANK YOU, LORD!
God is so BIG! And yet, even in His unmatchable majesty, he cares about the "little things" like our babysitters 7th grade homework. I just want to keep following hard after Him!
One of the gals asked how she could get to our church on Sunday. "Do you have a bus?" We do now!
Another guy said we should come and lead chapel one night. Yes, please!
Oh, Lord, my heart is overflowing. We don't deserve to be a part of this, but thank you thank you thank you for counting us worthy of this calling.
May we show them, and ourselves, that YOU, JESUS, are the only thing that gives worth.
I keep singing the words to Paul Baloche's "What Can I Do?"--
What can I do but thank You,
What can I do but give my life to You
What can I do but praise You,
Everyday make everything I do a hallelujah
A hallelujah, hallelujah