Gang, can I just tell you…. I MISSED YOU. I finally am home. It’s great to travel and I have some stories to share but it’s awesome to be back at home.
I am refreshed now and feel as though God has cranked up my passion to a brand-new level for our community. Since returning, my heart is filled with the thoughts of you. I’ve been praying like a mad woman for marriages, for your hearts for you to rise up in hope and to see how Jesus is working all around you. I have prayed to defeat depression, fear and weariness. I’ve been praying for restoration, redemption and to cancel all the lies of the enemy in the homes and spouses of the SUMites… And I’ve only been home for a week!
Right now I’m in a serious season of intercession. Take comfort and hope and know that God sees you. He loves you and I’m interceding for you along with Jesus through the Spirit.
Today, I want to share a story with all of you who feel that God has disappeared or doesn’t see you. He does.
Most of you know that Mike and I traveled to Europe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The only way I could convince Mike to travel overseas was to add a cruise to the equation. He agreed. So, we cruised on the biggest boat I’ve ever seen. Our room was on deck 15 and wow, what a view. 3,000 guest and 2,000 crew. THAT’S a crowd.
Mike is a traditional sort of guy, so nightly we would eat dinner in the formal dining room. The first night we were seated with a young couple. But they had been separated from their family and joined them for the remainder of the cruise at their table, thus we sat alone.
But…. On night three we walked in for diner and there sat two new couples. And this is where the story becomes a God thing.
You see, the women we met have been friends for more than 40 years. The two couples are great friends. And within minutes we were chatting and laughing and having a great time. And with me around, I can’t help it but conversations always move to areas of faith. I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself.
Wouldn’t you know it, out of all the thousands of people on our ship, we were now seated with a Nazarene pastor, his wife and their best friends. After a few nights of talking, Wes, the pastor looks over at Mike and asks, “Mike can I ask a personal question?”
“What is it that keeps you from accepting your wife’s faith?”
I sat motionless staring at Mike. He responded honestly and with great respect for me and the pastor. And his answer was not what I expected and yet it was.
“I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I just struggle with organized religion.”
My mouth hung open as I took in this conversation. Mike went on to explain a bit more. Pretty much what you might expect. The evil that has been perpetrated by religion, etc.
I love Wes’ rely, “What your saying isn’t anything that I haven’t thought as well. But it is also true that when people organize, pool their resources, their manpower, they bring so much good to the world. Bringing the Gospel to those who would never hear it and helping people in multiple ways.”
Gang, can I just say, Wes was born to be a pastor. His love shined from his eyes. His concern for Mike was genuine and you could just see him loving Mike without judgement. Man, when I grow up I want to be like Pastor Wes.
A funny thing about these God-incidents. One evening I didn’t attend dinner because I was still full from lunch (eating is the main sport on a cruise – sheesh, I gained five pounds) an Anglican Priest was seated at our table along with the Nazarene pastor, his wife, their best friends and Mike. HILARIOUS!! Mike is surrounded on all side, all the time, by believers.
Don’t think for a second that God isn’t working in your life and marriage. He is. He ALWAYS is at work to bring men unto His heart through His kindness.
Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep growing in your faith. Our God is all powerful, faithful and He is moving in our lives.
I love you. Have a great week. Lynn