Monday, January 19, 2009

The Presence of God...

I recently got to experience the expression "The presence of God won't take you, where the Grace of God won't keep you...."

It was Sunday morning. I was at the rehearsal with the band before the service. My kids were technologically entertained with a DS and an ipod. The presence of God was all around - I could feel it the moment I set foot on the stage. I could see it on the face of the pastor's daughter as she danced and clapped her hands to the music.

As we rehearsed, each of the songs touched my heart, more and more deeply. We started with "Your Grace is enough...." My hands made the signs for "grace" and "enough" and "satisfy", as I considered that - His grace IS enough...and yet, I have been blessed with so much more... the "stuff", the friendships, my children, other children... blessed, I tell you! Beyond my wildest imaginings!

We moved into the next set - "Blessed be Your name" led. As I signed of the "land that is plentiful" and the "walk through the wilderness", I pictured both in my life. Those moments when everything was 'right' in the world, and my most difficult struggles. As I walked through each, He has been there. Over time, I am learning to praise Him in the midst of both.

That thought segued right into the next song "oh, oh, You never let go...". But it wasn't that line that captured me. It was the 23rd Psalm part - "I will fear no evil, for my God is with me. And if my God is with me, whom then shall I fear?" No one - which is what I signed as the question repeated: "people influence fear, who? none!"

The forth song, was an invitation for God to be near. Over and over, I signed "Be near, oh God...", which ended in "Another Hallelujah". For some reason, that song seems to stay on my hands. There aren't that many words, and most of them are "Hallelujah!" - a killer for the shoulders, but wonderful for the heart.

It was a wonderful, wonderful time with God - all before the congregation arrived.

It was during the service itself, that I witnessed the grace of God keeping me in a very, very different way.

As I stood up front, interpreting the music, He held my tongue and moved my hands as I struggled with the overwhelming urge to tell my son - who was chattering away (loudly enough for me to hear him) - to "SHUT UP!"

Fortunately, my internal stress had diminished following the prayer, and I was able to speak with him rationally - and not screaming from the stage!

Thank you God for Your constant hand on my shoulder....

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