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Posts Tagged ‘the power of God’

Jo 17I had just finished some Christmas shopping in Westfield Parramatta and, feeling tired, decided to head home. I walked to my car, started the engine and prepared to reverse slowly to vacate my spot, but instead, found myself being propelled backwards at an alarming rate. I hastily felt for the brake pedal but alas, I could not find it! In desperation, I pulled the hand brake on, to no avail. And with a jolt, I hit the bumper bar of the car opposite with a thud.

But that was not the end. As that waiting traffic watched on, I put my car into drive and tried to manoeuvre my way slowly forwards. Alas, the same thing happened again—my car seemed to have a mind of its own. It sprang forward, straight back into the car spot I had just vacated and proceeded to hit the wall there with some force before stopping. At least there I could turn the engine off and try to figure out what was happening.

‘The brakes just didn’t seem to work!’ I explained to the nice man who had got out of the car waiting to take my spot, as I stood there shaking.

‘Don’t worry! These things happen to the best of us,’ he said, as he tried unsuccessfully to reassure me.

I proceeded to leave my details on the windscreen of the car I had damaged—but what to do now? I was reluctant to try driving a car that did not seem to do what I wanted it to do.

In the end, I contacted security and, as I waited, checked inside my car. I discovered that a thick mat the auto electrician had placed in the front had apparently flipped up onto the brake pedal—and possibly got in the way of the accelerator too. I tried to explain that to the security men, but it was very obvious they suspected I was just some silly woman who had mistaken the accelerator for the brake, then panicked! After all, once one of them helpfully got in the car for me and tried out the brakes, they worked fine for him! Or perhaps I had had a medical episode. ‘Are you okay to drive?’ they kept on asking—and I can well understand their concern. But it’s a good way to learn humility, don’t you think?!

As I recovered from this interesting experience, I began to wonder if my life might sometimes resemble my poor, out-of-control car far too closely, as I career this way and that. Those onlookers in the car park must have watched heart in mouth, yet they were powerless to do anything for me. But our God is not powerless—or uncaring. Instead, God reaches out to us with love and grace, watching over us, giving us the strength to sort things out, bringing the right people alongside us and guiding us to move forward again in the right direction. And I’m so thankful for that, aren’t you?

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. … My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:24. 26

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Jo 23On a recent Saturday night, I fronted up at a church to speak at a special dinner to raise funds for a home for disabled teenagers. I had been invited months earlier and the women organising the event were obviously keen for me to come. But for that, I might well have dropped out since I was still recovering from the flu and also hobbling along in a ‘moon boot’, after injuring my ankle.

By God’s grace, I was able to focus and speak from the heart, forgetting about everything else. Yet, as I sat down afterwards, I wondered if I had struck the right chord. They had all seemed attentive—but I had not expected so many men to be present. Were they happy to have a woman speak to them? Or were they all wondering when I would finish, so they could enjoy their dessert for which they had waited so patiently?

I was not left in doubt for very long. As one old gentleman passed me on his way to select his dessert, he tapped me on the shoulder. What was coming, I wondered. What was he about to say? Had he even heard what I had said? He was rather bent over with age—perhaps he was a little deaf as well. But then he began speaking softly, his face filled with emotion.

‘In my experience,’ he told me, ‘there are some people who know about God—and some people who know God. Now … you are one of the latter. Thank you very much! And you know, God has spoken to me too—many times.’

Ignoring all that wonderful dessert nearby, he began telling me how God had saved him during the war and had warned him about other events in his life. My heart was touched and I felt so honoured and humbled. I had judged this man as perhaps being unable to catch or understand my input. Instead, he had heard every word and had related so much to it all.

Later, I chatted with two other gentlemen, one of whom I discovered was a retired minister. Both thanked me for my input and were obviously touched. I had not expected such feedback at all and again felt so humbled.

The next day, as I reflected on the evening and on other events where I have spoken recently, I began to see yet again how so many people, whatever their backgrounds, seem to long to truly know and hear from God. They want the real thing. They are tired of merely hearing about God—if they hear anything at all. And this opinion seemed to be reinforced when I later turned to my bible and read Jesus’ strong response to the Sadducees who had asked him about some hypothetical situation, twisting Scripture to suit their own ends.

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Matt 22:29

What an indictment on them! And what an indictment on those of us too who feel called to speak if we do not come to grips fully with God’s heart in Scripture and then convey this in God’s power and with passion and sincerity! People are waiting, looking for reality. May we let neither God nor them down.

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