Today at church, I couldn’t help chuckle a little under my breath this morning when our temporary, fill-in worship leader stood before us in his skinny jeans. It made me laugh a little because I’ve heard a Pastor talk about why our Christian “Hipster” worship leaders feel the need to wear skinny Jeans and drink Starbucks coffee. I just had a moment at that time but the worship grabbed me and pulled me back into the real reason we stand and sing. The choice of songs “Mr. Skinny Jeans” picked were a perfect mix for my rebellious heart to melt. I always have a “moment” on Sunday mornings when singing the great hymns and songs of praise that humble me in realizing I will fall at the feet of our great God one day and the glory of Him I will see while knowing I am a sinner saved ONLY by His grace.
This praise filled moment was moved to another when our Pastor asked an older woman of our congregation to go forward with her husband and have a moment of prayer for her as she was recently diagnosed with cancer. The church prayed for her collectively while the Pastor prayed out loud. Some were even moved to stretch their hands to her, all the while believing that God is our healer and life sustainer; only He has the power to save. He is Creator God and all things are for Him and to Him while we understand He is sovereign, even when tragedy strikes. Again, my heart is pulled to God knowing that I am His creature and all glory and honor belongs to Him.
Then, the visiting Pastor gave his sermon on Psalm 107. There are 4 groups of people in this chapter of the Bible. We all fall into one of these groups. Those who are wandering in deserts, hungry and thirsty, and trying to find a city to dwell in. Or we may be in the second group of people who are sitting in darkness, prisoners in affliction and chains. Some of us may be in foolish state of sin where we have made foolish decisions and now just feel hopeless with no way out and certainly no way to God. Then the rest of us may be in the middle of the storm. We find ourselves drowning and feeling like we are surely at death’s door because of despair. Well, we are not left to these situations if we just cry out to Jesus. Everyone in these times of wandering the desert, or sitting in darkness, or drowning do not have to succumb to out demise. Christ has broken every chain of affliction and defeated death with His death!
The reason we can “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” is because we have been taken from the grasp of the world’s “normalcy”. We don’t have to live like that! That way is NOT normal! We can live in true freedom because He has set us free. As it says in John 8:36, “So if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed.” That is a promise, not a maybe so or a hope so…it’s a statement of promise and in that we can say “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”
So, I go back to those moments today, skinny Jeans and cancer. These things are life. Skinny jeans are just plain dumb, in my opinion. Probably because you will NEVER see me in a pair of them. Cancer though is a life situation that too many people have gone through or are going through. I know personally. My Mom died when I was 5 from cancer. People are left asking God “Why?” or “How could He allow this?” I don’t have an eloquent answer to those questions but I know one thing, He deserves my whole praise! Not just lip service but action. Even in life’s difficulties, cancer and skinny jeans, I want Him first and His guidance on my life. And so it is with skinny jeans and cancer, no matter the problem, we are all in need of a Savior.
I am not perfect, nor do I pretend to be. I constantly fail at being a father, a husband, a son, an employee….but God is perfect and His way is perfect. I pray to never be a “condemning Christian”. You know the type. A Christian who just points their fingers at others in judgment. Let’s be Christians who love God with all our hearts realizing we are just sinners saved by grace first and that, second, our fingers are pointing to the One Who saves, Jesus Christ. Judgement is not ours but His. Let’s love and worship Him whole heartedly and look to His Spirit in guiding us TO the lost and showing His love through us to them. Show them Christ. Love them like Christ does. America is certainly becoming the melting pot as we see God bringing all the nations to our front door. Love them like Christ and “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”