Monday, June 05, 2006

Praise, Praise and more Praise

I, I gotta Praise!
I gotta Praise and I gotta get it out...
I gotta Praise...
I gotta Praise!

Wow. As much as God has done for me lately - He just doesn't quit!

I pulled an all-nighter Saturday night making costumes for the Dance Team at church. I often have to remind myself that I'm not eighteen and in college anymore. I'm a Mommy who needs my rest, but the Dance Team couldn't very well dance naked, now could they?!?

So, there I am in church Sunday morning - barely able to keep my eyes open. The chandelier hanging behind Pastor's head was making smears of light before my eyes. Pastor's face was barely recognizable even though I was in the second pew. He too, was all blurry. But I heard his words. I heard his words speak once again, directly to me.

1 Samuel 14:1-15
1 Now the day came that Jonathan, the son of Saul, said to the young man who was carrying his armor, "Come and let us cross over to the Philistines' garrison that is on the other side." But he did not tell his father. 2 Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree which is in Migron. And the people who were with him were about six hundred men, 3 and Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod's brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of the LORD at Shiloh, was wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone.

According to Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible, "We must here take notice, I. Of the goodness of God in restraining the Philistines, who had a vast army of valiant men in the field, from falling upon that little handful of timorous trembling people that Saul had with him, whom they would easily have swallowed up at once. It is an invisible power that sets bounds to the malice of the church’s enemies, and suffers them not to do that which we should think there is nothing to hinder them from. II. Of the weakness of Saul, who seems here to have been quite at a loss, and unable to help himself. 1. He pitched his tent under a tree, and had but 600 men with him. Where were now the 3000 men he had chosen, and put such a confidence in? Those whom he trusted too much failed him when he most needed them. He durst not stay in Gibeah, but go into some obscure place, in the uttermost part of the city, under a pomegranate-tree, under Rimmon (so the word is), Ha-Rimmon, that Rimmon near Gibeah, in the caves of which those 600 Benjamites that escaped him themselves, Jdg. 20:47. Some think that there Saul took shelter, so mean and abject was his spirit, now that he had fallen under God’s displeasure, every hour expecting the Philistines upon him, and thereby the accomplishment of Samuel’s threatening, ch. 13:14. Those can never think themselves safe that see themselves cast out of God’s protection.

Pastor made particular note of the pomegranate tree. There Saul was, basically hiding out, feeling sorry for himself, while unbeknownst to him, his son is fighting a very brave battle in his stead. Pastor explained the the word "pomegranate" literally translates to the words "Get Up!" How ironic that Saul is sitting on his duff, and a message from a tree is hanging over his head, telling him what he needs to do next.

Have you ever been here? Are you here now? Do you know what I'm talking about? Me neither. Just kidding. Have you ever been at a spot in your life where you're wondering what God wants for your life and the answer has been with you all along, staring you in your face, but you're so busy making excuses, questioning your lot in life, thinking "someday the answers will be revealed," you don't even realize the tools have been in front of you, or worse, in your hands all along?

Pastor went on to use the staff of Moses as an example. Moses wandered in the wilderness for forty years. All along, his staff was in his hand. He needs evidence of how he will prove that God has spoken to him. God tells him to throw the staff to the ground. It turns into a serpent. God tells him to "pick it up by its tail," it turns back into a staff. This same staff parted the Red Sea and let the Hebrews out of Pharoah's land. This same staff, Moses used to strike the rock which spewed water. Moses had the tool in his hand all along, and didn't realize what God was asking of him.

So it was, at the end of this very enlightening sermon, Pastor asked us to ask God to reveal what tools were in our hands that we could use for His glory and His good work. Pastor asked us to examine what pomegranate trees were right in front of our faces calling us to "Get Up!"

Now, some of you know the whirlwind of confusion I have been in these past few years. I know I want to do God's work. I know I want to resist the temptation of a cushy high-salary job and use the gifts and talents God has given me for His glory. I know God has given me tremendous gifts and talents which has made it all the harder to determine what God wants for my life. Grantwriting is a Ministry. Organizational Management is a Ministry. Teaching dance is a Ministry. I have felt for years that I am a Jane-of-All-Trades, but am I a Master of any? Is my desire to push my Theatre Company forward what God truly wants for my life? Or is it yet another selfish desire of what I want for my life? I have been afraid. I have made excuses. I have come to some conclusions, only to backtrack and second-guess time after time, after time.

So, I got on my knees. I asked God to show me what He truly wanted for my life. I looked down at my hands. In one hand was a Comedy Mask. In the other, a Tragedy Mask. Theatre - my greatest desire, my greatest gift, my greatest talent is the tool that would bring God glory! Later at home, I again prayed that God would show me how Theatre would become my Ministry. He revealed to me that "Gaspipe" = "God's Pipe". Through Theatre, people will come into my life to whom I can and will minister. Derek and I will write plays on biblical figures such as Ruth and Naomi, Martha and Mary and many more that can be performed in the new church and elsewhere. My greatest desire is not selfish. God will use it. It has been revealed!!!

I have been blessed with a babysitter to watch the children while I work in another room of the house. I have been blessed with a group of people who are willing and excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead for this Theatre Company. I have been blessed with a Vision and affirmation of a dream that has long been in the works.

God is sooooooo good!

All the time.