Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ou Pre? (Are You Ready)

Are you ready?
Isn't that such an equipping, gut-checking, all-systems-go question?
Are any of us ever, really, ready?
Walking up the mountain on Sunday I wasn't sure if they'd ask me to give the message or not.

It's happened a few times now. 
Sitting there. Worshiping. Praising God.
Opening up the flood gates.
Then the pastor leans over.
"What are your intentions here today?"

The first thing I think, 
'It's not like I'm asking your daughter out on a date!'
and then it dawns on me. 

This is his church.
This is his flock.
He cares for them much the same way
a father cares for his little girl,
whether she's 2 or 20.

I understand that protective spirit.
I have a stick 3 inches thick and 5 feet long in my house.
I've already told one boy who was making moves on my daughter that if we need to, 
we'll find out which is harder,
His head or my stick.
It's a scary stick.

We arrive at the new church.
There's not even a roof on it yet.
Outdoor worship.... Amen!
They'll hear us all over these mountains this morning!

At first I understand that I'm not giving the message.
That's good, because I have nothing prepared.
Then just before the service starts,
the pastor walks over.
Yes. They expect you to give the message.

I start zig-zagging down the hill from the church.
I need to go and hide.
I need to get alone.
I need to throw up. 

Ohhhhh Lord! 
I need something from You. 
Do you have a word for Your people?
My prayers feel fragile and bare.

I'm here Lord. I'm available. 
If You have something, please show me.

A verse comes into my mind.
Then another. 
Then another....really? That one? Why ---o--o---ok Lord.

I walk back up the hill to the church.
The pastor offers me a chair.
We worship.
Then I hear...
"You ready?"

I am....
and not because of me...

because of Him.

I'm ready.

"Good morning! Thank you for letting us be with you today. I think you've all picked the most beautiful place in Haiti to build a church, up on top of this mountain...."

We have to always be found in that place, Christians.

"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect," 
1 Pete 3:15

To me that applies to every day, and every circumstance. 
Any time, in every way, 
in all opportunities,
sharing Christ. 

I should be gushing with rivers of Living Water, so much that if you ask me to speak, you will be flooded and utterly overwhelmed by the joy and hope within....

because I'm rescued!

Did you miss your chance today?
The sun rose again today, beautifully!
You have another chance.
As long as you're still breathing.

Barnes puts it this way:

A Christian should always be willing to converse about his religion. He should have such a deep conviction of its truth, of its importance, and of his personal interest in it; he should have a hope so firm, so cheering, so sustaining, that he will be always prepared to converse on the prospect of heaven and to endeavor to lead others to walk in the path to life.

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