Sunday, December 11, 2005

Memorial Stone #9 - That's My God!

While I was in Bible school my focus was set on learning more about God. I learned more about His character and that He is a generous, giving God. Why did God reveal Himself as "I Am" and leave it at that? I Am...what? He had to leave it open because He is...everything. He is our All in All. I see it like God said, "I Am [the meeter of every need you could possibly have in life]." How can we have the assurance that He will meet our needs? We must be convinced of two things - that He is able, and He is willing. Bill Gates certainly is able to give you 10 million dollars at the drop of a hat, but is he willing to DO it...for YOU. I may be able to convince you that I am willing to give you 10 million dollars, but you would probably have a hard time believing that I am able (and right now you would be right). Most people really do not have a hard time believing God is able to meet their needs, it's the issue of whether He truly is willing to do it for THEM that trips them up. He who comes to God must believe that He is [the meeter of all needs] and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him [He is willing and ready to meet your need upon approach].

When I was in my second year of Bible school there was a girl who caught my attention. She was beautiful inside and out. She had a heart of gold and was kind and generous to people. We both were in the same circle of friends and as time went by I became closer to her. I met her parents and we hit it off very well. They even had me house-sit for them when they were on vacation. I finally got the nerve to tell this girl that I felt I wanted to pursue something beyond a friendship. Her reply was something like, "Mark, I just think your wonderful and the nicest person. I have so much fun with you and I just love you like a brother." For a brief moment I thought I still had a chance...kind of like the movie "Dumb and Dumber" where Jim Carrey's character is told by the girl that his chances are one in a million and he says, "So you're saying I've got a chance. I read ya." But I realized pretty quick that no, she doesn't have a bizarre family life, she's turning me down. I had a lump in my throat and was crushed, but only for a couple minutes. I began to think about what this meant. I thought, "I know my God. My God is not a mean God who dangles a desire of my heart in front of me and then rips it away and laughs. My God is a good God and He rewards those who trust Him." I then got overwhelmingly excited because I knew that if this girl wasn't right for me, it could only mean that God had someone better (better suited to me). I was right.

A month or so before I moved back home from Bible school I felt God say something to me and immediately wrote it off as silly. One of my guitar students was a girl from my hometown who I had known for years. She had expressed a desire to learn the guitar so I started giving her lessons. I had an electric guitar, a classical (nylon-stringed) guitar, and my acoustic (steel-stringed) guitar which was the one I got when I was in 6th grade. I let her borrow my acoustic because she didn't have a guitar. Even after learning a couple of chords she was already writing worship songs. It blew me away and I felt attracted to her heart. Driving home one day I felt the Lord say (not audibly, but in my heart), "I want you to give her your guitar." I was shocked. There was NO WAY that could be God. Didn't God know how valuable that guitar was to me? All I had ever done, for the 12 or 13 years that I had it, was use it to glorify God. The guitar was bought for $225 so it wasn't like it was worth thousands of dollars, but to me it was worth much more because of the sentimental value. I would have given my car (worth about $5K) away before I gave the guitar away. I don't think I would have sold it for $20K - it meant that much to me. I passed off the leading as something from my own subconscious...maybe deep in my mind I had a hidden agenda and thought that giving her my guitar would help open the door to a dating relationship. After all, it had been eight years since I had seriously dated and I was the only one of my circle of friends who wasn't married. Maybe I was just getting impatient and not thinking clearly. I moved back home without obeying...but the leading would not leave. Months later it was still there. I finally prayed about it because I wanted to discern whether it was God or something I made up in my head. I came to the conclusion that while I was attracted to this girl's heart, her personality really wasn't compatible with mine (nothing bad about her or me, God makes people different). I finally obeyed God and gave her the guitar. She cried and we hugged and I let it go.

One month later I met the girl who would later become my wife. She was (and is) more than I ever could have asked, thought, or imagined. Words cannot describe how I feel about her. Our marriage has gone through the wringer and we are stronger and closer now than we have ever been. She is amazing. Do you want to know what kind of God I serve? About a year after I gave the guitar away (keep in mind I did not drop any hints about missing it - I really didn't miss it because I had released it), the girl who I gave it to said that God had told her to give it back. How awesome is that!! It does hold a special place in my heart, but I would give it away in a heartbeat if God told me to again. It was a lesson of trust and obedience. Like the old hymn says...

Trust and obey
For there's no better way
To be happy in Jesus
Than to trust and obey


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