Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Blessed Assurance

Two weeks ago, I found myself leaving the hospital to lead worship. I had sat (and fallen asleep) with Mom and Dad as Mom got her second round of chemo for breast cancer.
It was a long day that ended with me getting in a "chemo recliner" next to her and snoozing for the last bit. Chemo days are long and require me to be quiet the entire time- which is enough to kill me. I hate being quiet! I basically turn red in the face and call my sister after each treatment just so I can talk to someone for a good hour afterward.

It's always odd to leave chemo and do anything. You've literally just watched someone's life being saved by drugs. As odd as it sounds, you've seen people who should be dying but are living instead. With all of the quiet in the room, you really take in the fact that some people are fighting for another day to live. So doing anything after facing that seems insignificant and odd.
Leading worship after that is the oddest thing ever. Come to think of it- you'll never notice how many fourth verses are about going to Heaven until you're singing hymns after chemo. You're singing to the God that you've just been reminded that you're going to see one day.

But as I walked into Celebrate Recovery to lead worship that day, I didn't feel any stress. I didn't feel any doubt. I didn't feel like a fake.
For the first time, I recognized the sweet assurance I have in Jesus. For the first time, I realized that no matter what was going on in my life - whether Mom had breast cancer or not - Jesus was still as real, present and sovereign.

It's been a long year with Dad's cancer, then Mom's, and other personal bumps along the way. Many things have tried to shake our faith. But each day, as we walked through and prayed, God was building us up- until the day I realized that I walked in without a worry. I walked in assured.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long. 

So I encourage you to look back. See where God is building your faith. Look at the things that don't scare you anymore and sing this old hymn to yourself. Keep singing your story and being reminded that God overcomes all things and can bring you to "perfect submission, all is at rest." And if you're not there yet, just keep praising and trusting. 

Last week, February 21st, Adam led and we sang:
"Lord I Need You" by Chris Tomlin
"Forever Reign" by Kristian Stanfill
And "Cornerstone" by Hillsong

On February 14th, we sang:
"God is Able" by Hillsong
"Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant
"No Longer Slaves" by Bethel
And "Paul Brown Petty" by Brandon Heath