In the midst of the awesome worship music and familiar Christmas carols during Beautiful Savior’s Christmas Eve service “Wide Awake,” (see also https://womenofbslc.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/wide-awake/), these words found their way into my heart: “Expect the unexpected.” I was reminded that unexpected things happen not by my own doing, but by the zeal of the Lord. (For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 37:32.)
I was really looking forward to the Christmas Eve service. Strangely. To be honest, I thought that celebrating Christmas at an arena would be a little weird, but still, I woke up with anticipation in my spirit. You see, I have been in great need lately. I have needed to be encouraged. I have needed healing. I have needed a peaceful heart in the midst of an un-peaceful situation. I have needed to be reminded daily; no, hourly; no, minute-by-minute, that the God of encouragement, of healing, of peace is with me. I mean truly with me. Like ‘walking-beside-me’ with me.
Well, without going into details, let me just say that these past couple of days God has revealed Himself to me in amazing ways. He gave me peace in the midst of what ordinarily for me would have been a crushing blow. I mean ‘peace,’ like I stopped praying (i.e. asking–begging–till I couldn’t ask any more) and started praising. And this before there was ever any hint of resolution. (The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.) And then an “unexpected” hint of resolution came along! Just a hint. The storm’s not over yet, but my heart has been greatly encouraged by the zeal of the Lord.
When I saw the testimonies of my fellow Christians, I found myself weeping. I know most of their stories. I also know that God has worked powerfully in their lives to bring about peace, and healing, and day-by-day encouragement to keep walking. I found myself praying for others, myself included, to have the courage to stand alongside of them, honestly revealing the effects of sin in our lives and then proclaiming the zeal of the Lord and how He has made us more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37) SO THAT GOD RECEIVES ALL THE GLORY and others turn to Him and are healed and saved. (To see an example of these testimonies, go to http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WWYGP7NX.)
Thank you, Lord God, for the courage of my friends to openly admit the stuff in their lives that needed Your intervention. Thank you that You are there for them and for me to sink deep into. Thank you for waking me up (again). Thank you that I don’t need to–no wait, I can’t–rely on myself for anything. You are there; for me, with me, near me with Your perfect love. Remove all of my fear, Lord Jesus, and let me lean into in Your love. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Standing here in your presence
In a grace so relentless
I am won by perfect love
Wrapped within the arms of heaven
In a peace that last forever
Sinking deep in mercy’s sea
I’m wide awake, drawing close, stirred by grace
And all my heart is yours
All fear remove, I breathe you in, lean into
your love, oh your love
When I’m lost you pursue me
Lift my head to see your glory
Lord of all, So beautiful
Here in you, I find shelter
Captivated by the splendor
of your face, my secret place
Your love so deep, Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek, you are my everything
Jesus Christ ,You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry, to know you all my life
Artist: Hillsong Young & Free
Album: We Are Young & Free
God bless you, my friends, with His great love and perfect peace. May you see His glory and splendor in the midst of life’s difficulties, and may you know without a doubt that Jesus Christ hears your cry and wraps you in His arms.