Normally I dislike sermons that focus on a holiday (save for Christmas and Easter of course) because I find that they tend to be cheesy. But I was visiting my sister for the weekend and so I planned to go to a local church Sunday morning. While I was getting ready my niece Amelia asked me if she could go with me. My sister put an extra car seat in my car and Amelia and I had out first outing together alone-to church! I was of course delighted to have her in my car yet acutely aware of my driving. We ran to Starbucks and had a drink (The usual for me, triple shot for the toddler) before showing up to church.
Long story short, she was so well behaved. Tried to sing along, kept pretty quiet during prayer and even shook a few hands without coaching. Eventually she got bored sitting still and we went into the "Cry Room" as we call it at home. But what I did hear of the sermon struck me.
The pastor was preaching on Memorials, such as the Ebenezer built by the Israelites after God lead them across the Jordan River. (Josh 4) He told us story after story of God intervening in his life and how despite the power of these moments he often forgot about them, so he keeps a list to memorialize them. He did not want to forget how God had blessed him because when hard times come, as they do, he wanted to remember them and therefore be confident because the God who showed up in his past would show up again. Looking at my niece, a memorial to God answering prayer, who was so prayed for before she was born and is so cherished now, I had trouble not crying. Normally I wouldn't mind, but how do you explain tears of joy to a two year old?
For the next couple days whenever we went somewhere in a car, she wanted to ride with me and listen to her favorite Bob and Larry CD. I very much want her to grow up having a fulfilling and healthy relationship with her creator. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude watching her sing along in the back seat to "God is So Good." It made me want to make a list of how God has shown up in my life. It is in no way comprehensive or specific, but here's what I've got so far.
- A Christian legacy that goes back I don't know how far.
- Prayer warriors who have prayed over me since before I was born.
- The family and friends I have that help keep me pointed to God despite who I really am.
- My nieces who continue to stun me with the goodness of my God.
- A patient Father who allows me to wander and then welcomes me back with such love.
- The death of my Savior who loves me more than I can comprehend, loves my nieces more than I am capable of and has never regretted the sacrifice He made to save me.