Two thirds of the kids were sick this past Sunday & I won the coin toss, so the well child & I trotted off to church. It was kind of nice just sitting alone - one of the benefits of attending a huge church - it can be easy to not be seen when needed. And I needed a little "solitude." The comforts were what I was craving.....a hot cup o coffee, great worship & some good convicting words....preferably from Andy Stanley this morning....just needing normalcy & comfort.
When I learned we had a guest pastor I kind of fell on the inside. Just not what I "wanted" this morning. Maybe I was wanting to go a little brain dead...I don't know. But I feel like I can hear Andy's words easily. I don't have to work to figure out what he's trying to say all the time. He challenges me, don't get me wrong....but because I have been listening to him for so long it's like hearing from an old friend. I trust him. So my defenses can fall a little. I don't know this guy. I don't want to absorb his words half-heartedly. So my antenna will have to go up to really listen.
Well, he was great. He was what I needed to hear. God is fun like that - reminding me from time to time that He can actually speak through other people. :) John Ortberg is his name....turns out he's written a lot of books so a lot of other people may know who he is.....not me.
And a friend send me an excerpt from his sermon today......the words I needed to hear again....so I'll share John Ortberg's words from Sunday am with you....
God knows exactly what you need to grow…what relationships, what problems, what experiences, what groups, what teachings, what learnings. God knows just what will help every human being on earth grow, and His desire is for it never to become routine, never to be dull, and it will never look the same as anybody else.
You think about how differently God treats all of His children.
God had Abraham take a walk, Elijah take a nap, Joshua take a lap, Adam take the rap. God gave Moses a 40-year time out, He gave David a harp and a dance. He gave Paul a pen and a scroll. He wrestled with Jacob, argued with Job, whispered to Elijah, warned Cain, and comforted Hagar.He gave Aaron an altar, Miriam a song, Gideon a fleece, Peter a name, Elisha a mantle. Jesus was stern with the rich, young ruler, tender with the woman caught in adultery, challenging with the disciples, blistering with the scribes, gentle with the children, gracious with the thief on the cross.
God never grows two people the same way. God is hand-crafter, not a mass-producer.
You are God’s workmanship. His plan to grow you up will not look exactly like His plan for anybody else, but He knows exactly what you need. So, our prayer on this one is, “God, how do You want me to grow?"
It's always comforting to remember that I am not on a conveyer belt being asked to look like the expectations of even good people around me. And what an important truth to be reminded of as we raise these children....each uniquely made for a purpose....bigger than us.