Take Heart.

This was a special weekend for several reasons. My son and I had the joy of  lifting up the name of Jesus together with other worshippers at our church (I was singing, he was rocking his guitar like a boss), while my sister and my husband stood in the baptism tank a few feet away baptizing one changed life after the next.

Andrew Marshall baptism
My sister, Melody (left), my husband, Scott (right) and our buddy Andrew (the one who’s all covered in water)!

One lovely young woman had been an atheist all her life until two weeks ago when she was inexplicably drawn into the doors of the church. Little did she know that a group of children had stood in a prayer circle hours before she walked in, praying that God would bring someone through the doors who didn’t expect to come and that He would bring that person to a relationship with Him. This woman surrendered her life to Christ that week and was baptized today.  She was one of the many surrendered lives who took the plunge today.  There were children, teenagers, young adults, senior citizens, and I’ll never forget the precious young lady with special needs…and her whole family!

Members of our community group sat together to support two of our group members – one who was being baptized (pictured above), and one who was today’s speaker.  We all cheered and cried when our buddy came out of the water (them from their seats, my husband from the tank and me from a few feet to the left of the tank). Singing through the tears was no longer possible. I needed to take a moment to stop singing and (try to) compose myself. Just when I was sure a huge snot bubble was going to form from my nose, a nearby service assistant came straight to me with a box of kleenex.  That dude is my new favorite person. Just one more kindness that reminded me again, we are so loved, my friends! God is constantly reaching out to us, doing incredible things, and drawing us to Himself.

I know we could all tell stories of churches who get it wrong, and people who do despicable things in the name of Jesus. Churches are filled with fallen people who make mistakes and hurt each other. But after seeing my share of despicable behavior, this truth saved me:

People will be people. But God will still be God.

A few days ago, I was powerfully reminded of Romans 8:11, which says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you…”  And, of course (God is not subtle) today one of the songs we led contained that same truth.  “The same power that crushed the enemy is the same power that lives in me…” I could’ve sung it a thousand more times.  That, friends, is the Hope we carry around with us.

In a world of darkness, chaos, sickness, cancer, death, war and political shenanigans, we can hold tight to the truth that the same power that raised Christ from the grave is alive and well.  In us!  Let’s keep remembering to invite Him in so He can do His thing.

He still heals hearts, mends relationships, and saves the lost.  He is also allowing mothers and sons like mine to serve Him together, bringing husbands like mine to a place where God can use Him as he never dreamed.  He helps atheists believe, and he finds the lost wherever they are so He can give them what they most need.

There was a day when my cynicism made it hard for me to see His power at work. Truth is, He can do far more than we think to ask Him for, and He uses our obedience and bold prayers to do it. Today I saw proof.

Take heart.  He has overcome the world.




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