Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Desperate Prayers and a Thankful Heart—2

Sunday morning I woke with disjointed phrases from the song running through my mind. Wanting to know what I was getting myself into, I pulled up the lyrics and printed them off. Here they are:

Whatever It Takes
Lanny Wolfe

There's a voice calling me
From an old rugged tree
And He whispers draw closer to me
Leave this world far behind
There are new heights to climb
And a new place in me you will find

For whatever it takes to draw closer to you Lord
That's what I'll be willing to do
For whatever it takes to be more like you
That's what I'll be willing to do

(verse 2)
Take the dearest things to me
If that's how it must be
To draw me closer to thee
Let the disappointments come
Lonely days without the sun
If through sorrow more like you I become

(repeat chorus)

(verse 3)
Take my houses my lands,
change my dreams, change my plans
for I'm placing my whole life in your hands
and if you call me today...
to a place far away
Lord I'll go, and your will I'll obey.

(repeat chorus)

I'll trade sunshine for rain
Comfort for pain
That's what I'll be willing to do
For whatever it takes for my will to break
That's what I'll be willing to do

That's what I'll be willing to do

Our day trip for Sunday was to spend the day at Camp Eden, a camp our church has owned since the 1940s. Before that it was owned by Denver Bible Institute where my maternal grandparents went to school and met. When we first moved to Colorado in 1996, we’d been hired as the directors of the camp. Mom even found pictures in my grandmother’s photo albums taken from where the entrance to the camp is today. So lots and lots of family history there, as well as spiritual history. Our church has their annual family camp Labor Day weekend, and the camp provides a barbeque dinner at noon for the entire church family. Since we left the camp in late 1999, we have usually spent the entire day on Labor Day Sunday up there, worshipping with the weekend campers in the morning, taking part in the barbeque, and joining with everyone for a late-afternoon service.

In light of the events the previous day, I went expecting to hear specifics from the Lord. Of course, I was still hoping to be let off easy since I was so willing to obey as soon as He told me what He wanted me to do. I still had no idea what the Lord had in store for me. Nor do I know how long this intense testing time will last. But God is faithful, and in reality, He did start easy with me.

Our daughter joined us for the barbeque. And as I watched her visit with friends and show the camp to a friend she’d brought with her, I sensed the Lord saying, “You have to let go of her. I can’t work in her life with you hanging on so tight!” In praying for the Lord to work in my children’s lives, I hadn’t realized that I was praying that He would work in the way I wanted. We’d dedicated both of them to the Lord when they were babies. I thought it would be easy to let them go as they became adults, but that's not necessarily true, at least in my case. (Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get the hang of parenting adult children! Of course they’re both teaching me what they expect of me. Grinning.)

A little later in the afternoon service, our pastor preached on Abraham’s test when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise. By now the Lord really had my attention. I committed both my kids to His care once again. But I still couldn’t understand how or why Abraham obeyed so immediately and completely, even though the two points our pastor made were that Abraham obeyed because he believed God and he loved God. I somehow couldn't grasp those concepts. But the Lord has graciously shown me through the events of the last few months how this can be. Isn't He good?

[Note: We leave later today for our bi-annual trip to Illinois for the Vawter family Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what my Internet connectivity will be, but I will do my best to continue to post the rest of this serial story. I pray a blessed Thanksgiving for each of you and your families. Focusing on God's blessings truly give us much to thank Him for. Read Psalm 103:1-5 for David's list of thanksgiving.]

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