“Dark midnight was my cry, dark midnight was my cry,
Dark midnight was my cry, give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus.
You can have all the world, but give me Jesus.”
~ African American Spiritual
“What is saving your life right now?” This question was asked of the delegates at our recent diocesan convention by Greg Garrett, keynote speaker and author of the book, MY CHURCH IS NOT DYING. He was awesome, in my opinion, so an aside is required. He said that when we listen to the faith stories people tell, we learn that the Church isn’t dying but it is changing. All things do. The theme of the convention was “Proclaiming the Kingdom,” and Greg told us that we can do this by telling our own faith stories. We were challenged to sign a pledge, if we use social media, to put our faith stories out there. Post something. I’ve tried to do this since I’ve been on Facebook so it was easy to sign that pledge. I found it interesting that I was already planning to teach a class—The Bible: A Love Story, part of which will help attendees get in touch with their own stories so they can be shared. Subtitles of the class topic are “His Story – Your Story” and “Learn the Story – Tell the Story” (aside over). Stay tuned.
Back to the convention and the question, “What is saving your life right now?” I wrote it in my notes. A woman at our table asked me to start the discussion as she had observed me writing and wanted to know. I told them what I wrote but that I needed to think about the answer. As most of you know, my year has been very challenging with my own health issues including three surgeries, my brother’s accident and loss of his leg, and the death of my mother. We are having numerous problems, requiring expensive repairs, with our house, etc., and so on. I said that I know God is with me and working in my life but that I had no clue on what or where things are going.
I have spent time with the question and, in the process, made some discoveries. A large pool of grief covering a lifetime of events, along with fear, has surfaced. This has surprised me. Are there, perhaps, more stories in the making? I was ready to quit—quit writing, teaching, whatever, and throw in the towel, just quit—but I’m more or less over that. I ran across a quote the other day that said, “You will be the most tempted to quit when you are closest to your calling.” Well, that’s something to think about, too, isn’t it?
So, I’m ready to answer the question, “What is saving my life right now?” Here goes.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, and that God is loving.
I believe that Jesus loves me and there is nothing I can or ever will do that will change that.
I believe that God is present with me even when I don’t feel his presence and even when I’m tempted to doubt that he is.
I believe, “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
I believe that God says, “I know the plans I have for you….plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
I believe that Jesus has Kingdom work for me to do. I believe in him.
And, I believe in you. You—the Christian Community, the Body of Christ, Jesus with skin on. You help save my life.
So, that is my answer. How would you answer?
“And when I want to sing, and when I want to sing,
And when I want to sing, give me Jesus.”
Grace and Peace, Donna