As I was getting ready for work Thursday, I was listening to some southern gospel music. A song by the Paynes, "After the storm" was playing. I really can't explain the way I was feeling, other than rejoicing. I was very happy and worshipped the Lord. The lines "Still standing after the storm" just stayed with me. The last five years, with exception of the last six months or so, have been very stormy for my family. During the latter part of the trials, I was really questioning God. It wasn't a matter of belief, more like questioning of myself. What had I done so wrong? Why at a time that I was trying so hard to serve the Lord was I going through the things I was going through? Well there are events in life that do happen, and I've learned that it rains on the just and the unjust, as it says in Matthew 5:45. I have felt God's love and seen his faithfulness. I had reached a level to where I knew in my heart that no matter what, as long as I had a relationship with the Lord, nothing else mattered.
Hearing that song that morning really stirred me emotionally. I hated that I had to go to work and would not be able to stay home and continue to worship the Lord as I pleased. Well, sometimes (not nearly enough!) I read the word at my desk during my lunchtime. When I got to work that morning, I wrote the thought "After the storm" and told myself I would have to read something that would go along with that. At lunchtime, as I sat staring at that note, I had no idea what scripture to refer to. Then, I just opened the Bible to the place I had left off in Hebrews. It was talking about there being rest in Jesus. Oh how that hit me.
That night, we went to our midweek service at church. The pastor was really just rejoicing about the way the Lord has been moving in our church services. The Holy Ghost really moved in our service Sunday evening and this is just a continuance of what we have been seeing for some time now. It just keeps getting better and better. People are hungry for the Lord and they are being filled. It isn't always like this, and for a while, we were actually starting to get into such a routine that services were quite dry. Sunday night, the spirit began to move, and a young man who has been seeking the Holy Ghost for some time was wonderfully blessed. People praying for him were blessed. The Holy Ghost was "moving from the pulpit to the door". It just felt so good in that place. Well, our pastor was reflecting on Sunday night's service, and preached simply about Psalms 117. 1. "Oh praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. 2. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Prase ye the Lord."
Wow, until then, I was unfamiliar with that scripture. I think I've heard it before, but didn't realize that was it in that book of the Bible. How wonderful it is. The simplicity, yet greatness in those two little verses. When I heard them read, I was taken back. It fit. That message was for me. That was how I was feeling. Thursday night was a calm service, but I believe the Holy Ghost was among us. There is a rejoicing in our little church. New saved converts, people newly baptized in the Holy Ghost, people seeking a closer walk with the Lord, our stronger Christians seeing prayers answered for a revival within the church. Oh Praise the Lord!
I told the pastor after service he preached that message for me. I told him about my morning and then what I happened to read at lunchtime and how it went with how I was feeling in the morning. Then the evening's message was just what I needed.
I had been struggling for so long, not really excited about my salvation. I felt so weary after years of trials. I had started to pray that the Lord would give me joy in my salvation. Salvation is the best gift God could give us, and we should all be excited about that. I thank the Lord that he has answered my prayer and I pray that I continue to grow in him.