It’s not too often that a track I hear reminds me that I have to rest in Him now and again. It’s a great track.
Have you ever felt so lost that you don’t know what to do next? Have you ever felt like you could sceam and no one would hear you? Have you every been scared of failing? Have you ever felt dissapointed that that things just didn’t turned out the way it did? Have you ever been so ashamed that you constantly look down to hide your face?
Guess what? I do. Even as a Christian, I feel those things.
You see, you and I are on the same boat. I am so lost that I can’t seem to find out what is next for me, in any given situation. Case 1: my job. I just lost it on Friday when my temp agent came to my work and said “Your job just ended.” I’m pretty much starting from scratch on my job search that just before I was out of work for 9 months. Yep, 9 MONTHS!!! And I’m back where I started from.
This leads me to the second question. I just want to sceam off the top of my lungs and see if anyone hears me. So far, it has fallen on deaf ears. Going from place to place trying to find a job is not fun, nor is stepping into a fast food place when you went to college.
The third question is already a reality. I failed at getting my dream job. I wanted to be a musician and get paid to do it. I even went to school and dedicated 13 years of my life, which is almost half my life, on practicing, gigging and travelling to be a professional musician. So far, in my span of 13 years, I’ve made a grand total of $13.85. Not exactly what I had imagined as far as a profession, huh? To make ends meet, I pretty much have to resort to dead end jobs that don’t pay very well. Keep in mind: I am a high school graduate and went to college to study for music. In any instance, I should have succeeded, but I didn’t.
I know that my family is ashamed of me. Who could blame them? Here is a guy who didn’t have a future to look forward to, but he worked his tail off so he could try and live a dream he had when he was a kid. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t be the guy playing music for a living. Instead, he ends up where he is at, scraping by, not able to do anything of any meaning anymore.
But I have someone who understands all of what I’m going through. He is God.
My life is not a picture perfect life, but it is a great feeling knowing that all your problems are miniscule compared to a huge God. It says in the bible to “turn all of your worries and cares to God” and He will see who you really are in Christ.
So who am I in Christ? I am a worshipper. Even though I don’t get paid to be put on stage every Sunday, I love to play music for God with everything that I am. It is tiresome and it requires a lot of hard work, but it is exhilarating to see people raising their hands up praising God for their life.
I’m also a caring person. I am energized to get up in the morning and know that I will bless someone today. Even if it’s as little as holding a door for someone or as big as finding a very important item, I love to help people. I volunteer one a week at a soup kitchen feeding those that are homeless, poor and needy and I help feed them. You know what? I love to do that!!!
Even though you are going through trials in your life that you don’t think you can make it through, ask yourself this: who am I in God’s eyes? God made you for a purpose and a reason. He crafted you with such care that I’m sure you were more fragile than porcelain. You are God’s child. DON”T FORGET THAT!!!! You are made with the care of the creator of the universe. You are more than a conqueror!
So I’m actually sitting at home, which is rare for me because it’s really rare for me to be at home. With work, church, band (well…make that 2 bands if you count the BC Worship Band…I do, at least), volunteer work and spending time with friends, I barely have enough time at my own home. (Did I say that it’s very rare for me to be at home right now? Ha!) In my day of rest, I started to do something I never thought in a million years I would do…I talked to the creator of the Earth!
How cool is it that ordinary me gets to talk to the creator of the Earth? He made plants, animals, the sun, the moon, space, everything! Yet, I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with Him. Out of my business, I don’t make room for God, and that is really not good for me. After all, I’m part of a worship band and I lead people to Christ so I should be talking to God on a regular basis.
But I don’t. And I should.
I read and study my bible and I pray, but I don’t have time to actually soak in God’s presence regularly, so I decided that today was a “get back to why you became a Christian in the first place” day. I turned on some worship music, read and studied my bible, prayed and just fell silent. Do you know the feeling of not taking a shower for days and then finally taking one? It felt exactly like that, just more amplified.
And here I thought being a Christian would be easy. It’s not. Matter of fact, it’s WAY hard! But for some people, they never get a chance to meet face to face with God. They are busy with their life that they can’t squeeze one moment with the creator of everything, and that was me.
But all it takes to be a Christian is one moment. One solid moment. One moment where everything changes. One moment where you get to see who God is and start this incredible journey of following and talking to Him. One moment where you get to kneel before God and say “I love you.”
Even if I’m busy, God is always there at a moment’s notice to say “I’m here. I’ve always been here.”
Time to go to work. Ha!
I went to a concert a couple of days ago to see Devin Williams, Cory Lamb, Rapture Ruckus and Fireflight and got a revelation about these bands and singers and Christian artists in general.
After the show, I got to talk to members of Devin Williams’ band and Cory Lamb’s bands, as well as themselves. I kind of thought that the stardom would detach them from people and the road would wear their joy of music. Instead, the opposite happened. Devin himself was SUPER nice and I was enjoying his and his band’s company that I started joking with him, like we’ve been friends since forever. I even got to briefly meet his wife, which she was really awesome. (On the off chance that Devin does read this: you wife is awesome and you are blessed to have her.) The bassist for his band used to play for Seventh Day Slumber and he was funny. At one point, the band members were timing themselves to see how fast they can sign their autograph on a CD. The bassist said “Watch this” and signed it in less than 2 seconds. We all busted out a laughter. Moving on to Cory Lamb’s band, they were incredibly awesome. I didn’t get a chance to meet Cory himself, but the times I did see him, he seems like a really good guy. The drummer and bassist were awesome and super nice. They wanted to sign my shirt that I got, but I decided not to, as the experience itself was evidence that I was a part of a great experience. My band did meet the members of Fireflight and Rapture Ruckus, but I missed them as I was hanging with the other bands instead.
Anyways, it occured to me that I was surrounded with a bunch of fellow Christians and it made me realize how before I was a Christian, I would go to concerts and I would not have a whole lot of fun. I would go just to listen to bands, maybe get a couple of shirts and leave. Now, I go to concerts, get to meet the bands, get to know them and their walk with Christ and leave with more than just shirts and CD’s.
I also realized that I am having more fun now that I am a Christian and have done more than ever before. It might be the joy of the Lord, but man is it fun to be a Christian!
I’m getting this question a lot from my friends who just so happen to hear about this blog, so I’ll share it with you.
Before I became a Christian, I was the most messed up person you can imagine. I was picked on heavily (and by that, I mean “We don’t think you should exist” picked on) during middle school. The bullies were gangbangers and people who had a rough family life at home. They chose not to deal with it, but to take it out on me, and as a result, I became the kid that no one liked and the school’s punching bag. I remember one day as I was going to lunch, a group of kids surrounded me and one of them punched my mouth, which at the time had braces in it. I scrambled to the classroom that was behind me and I stumbled to the nearest desk, with my mouth gushing with blood, all the while the kids outside cheered the kid who landed one at me.
It gotten so out of hand that I feared just going to school. I would wake up and beg my mom to not take me to school, for fear of loosing my life. All the while, the things that the kids said I started to believe. Things like “You are stupid”, “You are nothing” and “You are a loser” are things that I started to believe, and trust me when I say that it wasn’t a good feeling when you start believing these lies…at all. It had gotten to the point where I was contimplating taking my own life. I wanted the pain and torment to end.
Thankfully, I moved to another school district in my freshman year in high school. As soon as I did, though, those feelings of being worthlessness started. It wasn’t the kids in the new school district, as they were very nice and kind to me, but rather the left over feelings of who is going to beat me up next. Still today, I have those feelings of unworthiness, and it went from being ugly inside to staright up pain.
Once I got into school, though, I was introduced to church by one of my mom’s co-workers who invited my family to a church called Crosswinds Wesleyan Church in Canandaigua, New York. I went from time to time but never fully surrendered to Christ due to the fact that I was still reeling from the trauma of middle school. My youth group leader knew of my troubled past and invited my brothers and I for a game of basketball. That’s when I started to play basketball, and I fell in love with it. He then invited us to a youth retreat called Spring Fling. I remember there was a band called One Cross (who is now Manic Drive) and that’s when I gave my life to Christ. In just one moment, it felt as though the unworthiness and the darkness inside of me was just gone, like someone just put a new life into me.
If you read this and felt the hurt, the sadness, the guilt and the unworthiness in your life, I want to let you know that I’ve been there. I also want to let you know that there is a way out. If this story of my life has impacted you, please contact me here or my e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can pray for you.
Once upon a time a man lived in a house without a window. Naturally, it was very dark inside his house.
One day he said to himself, “I’m sick and tired of living in a dark house. I want to get rid of the darkness. I want light instead of darkness.”
So what did he do? He took a large pail, filled it with darkness, carried it outside, and emptied it. Then he went back into the house and did the same thing all over again. He filled the pail with darkenss, carried it outside, and emptied it. He did this all day. But by the end of the day his house was just as dark as it had always been.
Then the man said to himself, “This isn’t going to work. This is not the way to get rid of the darkenss. There must be another way But how?”
That night, he went to bed, very tired and very sad. But when he woke up the next morning, the answer came to him. “Now I know how to get rid of the darkness,” he said. He took a big hammer, knocked a big hole in the outside wall, and made a window. Through this window the bright sunlight came pouring into his house.
Our lives our like a house without a window. It’s dark inside. To make a light inside, we need a window, a window through which God’s light will come pouring into our lives.
Prayer is such a window. Without prayer our lives are dark. With Prayer, our lives are light. Each time we pray, God’s light comes pouring into our lives.
Recently, my faith has been very strong, as I’ve been very busy with getting grounded in the Word and with Building Church stuff. Previously, though, I felt as though God was a million miles away. I had just pass the baton for the drumming position to the great Derek Anderson and I kind of felt lost and confused, as if the bright red rug was swept from under me. I stopped reading my bible, stopped praying and felt angry for something that I chose to do. It didn’t make much sense looking back, but now that I did, I was in a place called Gethsemane and I hated it.
What is Gethsemane, you ask? Its a place in the bible where your prayers are not answered and you feel like you are all alone. It means “crushed olive”, fitting for a name of a city, huh? It’s a place to where no matter how hard you pray or how hard you study the bible, it feels as though God is not present.
Did you know Jesus Himself visited Gethsemane? He actually spent a night there just before he was crucified. Even his deciples spent the night with Jesus! The Bible says in the book of Matthew that “Jesus went with his deciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch [pray] with me.’” Even Jesus was overwhelmed when He went to Gethsemane. Can you imagine that?
Well, if you go to church and sing those praise and worship song and you find it easier to sing the lyrics than to surrender to God, then you are in Gethsemane. If you feel like Jesus and you are overwhelmed with pain, sorrow, or anger, then you are also in Gethsemane. However, there is a way out of the city.
It’s called total surrender. I touched on it last post but in order to have life and to live it abundantly, you have to completely surrender to God. I love to just sit in my room, listen to my favorite worship songs and just let the presence of God just soak into me. My personal favorite is a worship leader named Audrey Assad and she is great for that soak time. I also like to listen to worship music and study the bible, too. That time is a great place to have that one on one connection with God. Cool, huh?
It seems as though us people as a society are not use to waiting. We have the fastest internet, the fastest phones that can do pretty much everything, even the fastest food. To wait is to be out of style.
For me, though, I’m use to waiting. When I was in college, I didn’t have a car. I had to ride the public transportation bus to and from college and wait until my mom picks me up. Sometimes, it was only 5 minutes, sometimes it was 5 hours. By then, I was really use to waiting.
Nowadays, people can’t wait for anything. Want food? Here’s a fast food place that makes full meals in 5 minutes. Want to look up something? No need to go to a library with tons of books, we have the internet. Want to entertain yourself? Watch some TV. When we want something, we want it now.
It’s not a far fetched idea that that is how we view our prayer life. We want God to answer our prayers now, but it doesn’t work that way. In the book of Psalms, it commands us to “be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)You see, our walk with God is just that, a walk. It’s not a full out run and it’s not a full stop. Have you ever taken a walk on a trail or in a park? It’s a lot like that. It’s not too fast or too slow. When you pray and talk to God, don’t be upset when He doesn’t answer you immediately. Just be patient and wait for the Lord. He will give you three answers: yes, no, or I have something better planned for you.