October 16, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: We All Have a Story

Brother-Aaron-236x300As I listened to the praise team singing in a revival I preached recently, the Spirit of the Lord shifted my attention from what they were singing – to each of them as individuals.

The Spirit of God nudged me and said, “Aaron, all of them have a story regarding the different paths they have travelled to reach the place they are in their relationship with me.”

He burned that in my heart! And so it is with us. We all have a story regarding the different paths we have travelled to reach the place we are in our relationship with God.

Having spoken briefly with the pastor, I knew that one of the young ladies was his daughter and she was married to the gentleman standing next to her.

They looked to be in their mid to late twenties. They were a beautiful young Christian couple with the rest of their lives before them. I thought: What a nice young Christian couple.

Then I thought about how awesome it was that God had brought the daughter of a Baptist pastor and the son of a Church of God pastor together as husband and wife, and now they were on stage together singing praises to God. Coming from such diverse backgrounds, I’m sure they have quite a story. As I pondered this, I realized that they’re still writing their story; it’s by no means finished.

I learned that one of the gentlemen singing is a recent convert and feels very inadequate and scared when on stage. But he is pushing through his feelings and is glorifying God with his songs. When I complimented him on his singing, he said, “Oh, they just let me stand on stage, hold a microphone, and move my mouth. They keep my mic turned off!” I knew better. And I know he’s still writing his story; it’s by no means finished.

I learned the other young lady has been saved for a couple of years. She too had just recently started singing with the praise team.

The pastor told me about how that prior to getting her life right with God she had been a drug addict, divorced, was a single mother trying to raise four young children, and her life had been really messed-up! He told me how she met the man who she is married to now and how he too was a divorcee with his own set of problems.

However, with God, they are putting their lives back together. I marveled at the redemptive power of God as I watched this Trophy of Grace, with her hands raised, tears flowing, singing about the goodness of God. I realized that she and her husband are still writing their story and that it is by no means finished.

As I sat there reflecting upon all of this, God brought the lyrics of Joel Hemphill’s song, “He’s Still Working on Me,” to my mind. Joel wrote, “He’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be, He’s still working on me.”

You have a story. I have a story. We all have a story. But the most awesome part is that our stories are still being written!

And regardless of how bad we may have messed-up, the God we serve is a God of redemption. Another portion of the lyrics say: “There really ought to be a sign upon the heart, don’t judge me yet, there’s an unfinished part. But I’ll be perfect just according to His plan, fashioned by the Master’s loving hands.”

I’m thankful that He’s still working on me!

Brother Aaron

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