This past Sunday I attended the Church in Wichita that Chad’s College is associated with. They have a annual end of the year event at the church and invite all the families of the students to attend. Well, since Jeff must preach on Sundays here, I am always the representative for the family on events like this. Once Amy came down from Kansas City and joined me, but this year, we had a surprise for Chad. His oldest brother and family drove in from Tulsa to surprise him.
Chad and I arrived at the church early because he was on the agenda of the service. Church began, and Lee was nowhere to be found. But as the whole church stood in the worship service singing Lee comes up taps Chad on the shoulder and asks if the seat next to him is taken. Chad was thrilled his brother was there, but we were both excited to see J.J. See he is my first grandson and named after Jeff so to have a third in the family is super special. As I took J.J. in my arms still standing and singing with the congregation, the words of the song ”Do it again” by Elevation worship came out of my mouth…
“Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, you’ve never failed me yet”
Those words were repeated several times as I stood there. As I sung them, I couldn’t help but first look at the little one in my arms and in my mind I went back in time, when his daddy was about that age and how I would tell Lee, “Now one day you are going to have a son and you will call him, Jeffrey Lee Miller the Third after you and your daddy”. I told him that often throughout his life, it was a silly little dream I had, but I prayed it would come true and it did. Then my mind jumped to all the learning difficulties Chad has had and the times I had cried out to God “What should I do? How can I help him? I recalled all that Chad has overcome just since being at school in Wichita. From failing every class his first semester, except Student Success Class (Go figure? How does that Happen?) to this year passing all his classes with C’s or above. Memory after memory kept running through my mind of just how good God had been to us. The time Lee had an infection in his thumb and he almost lost it, but we prayed, and woke up the next morning to new skin growing on it, God healed it. I remembered the time we didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from but God provided that check in the mail. I recounted over and over again of God’s faithfulness in our lives! As I sung out to Him“You’ve never failed me yet!”
All this got me thinking……. What if, we would all just do that? Just look back and recount all that God has done for us. Because I must tell you. My heart swelled with gratitude when I considered what He has done. Is my life perfect now? Absolutely not! Do I still have problems? Yep, every day! But see one of the verses in that song says…
“Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet”
I think all too often instead of looking at what God has done for us, we focus on what we haven’t gotten. What we prayed for and never came, or when the circumstance didn’t turn out to be what we expected. But our faith can never be measured by whether God answers our prayers or not. Our faith can only be measured by the sure fact that we believe who God says He is and we trust in who He is, knowing if we will follow Him that in the end He has the best plan. It is called dying to our-self. We have to learn to give up our will, and our way if it doesn’t go as we had hoped and we trust in the Master’s plan.
But all too often we act like a 2-year-old who when they don’t get their way, throws a fit and refuses to play nicely. Let me encourage you this week, take the time to think of all God has brought you through, then praise Him for being there even when you didn’t know it and providing and protecting for you and your family. Maybe even look up this song and listen to it. Because let me tell you as we focus on the faithfulness of God, if we won’t quit if we will continue to trust in His faithfulness. Yes, it may not turn out like we had hoped and our heart maybe breaking but I promise when the dust settles, and all is said and done, we may even have to be standing before our Heavenly Father one day before we find out, but in the end we will find out, we can trust Him!
He has a plan and He is faithful. When Chad graduated from High School not being able to read much more than a 4th grade level because of his Dyslexia and other learning disabilities, all of which have no cure. We never dreamed He would be attending a Bible School where he had to read and write so much. We assumed he would end up in a more manual labor job because that is where he is gifted at. But God had a different plan.
So, no matter what mountain you are going around right now, or how many times you feel like you have been around it. Trust God, give Him glory right where you are. Don’t make Him perform to your specifications before you will praise Him. Because if you demand that, He isn’t the God, you are! And let me tell you, You nor I are God or even close to being one.
I have to be honest, there was a season of my life, I was a little mad at God, because my kid has to work 10 times harder than any other to do the same thing another kid easily accomplishes. Chad is incredibly intelligent yet struggles to get it out. But I had to choose, to trust God, even though I couldn’t see how He would use this for His glory. I choose to trust, to keep going. I refuse to lose faith in a God I knew was faithful! And I would be lying if I said I still don’t have to encourage myself every now and then by remembering what God has already brought us through.
So, this week, let’s do what Psalms 150:1-6 (ESV) says
“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens![a]
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!