Happy 1st Birthday Hill Crest Bible Church!
I can hardly believe it has been a whole year since Jesus led us on this extraordinary journey, I am humbled and amazed at all that our God has done! This is best how I’d sum up this year: precious. This year we welcomed our newest addition to the nest, a sweet boy named Ezra, and we said meet you there to our eldest addition, Mr. Barney Lockwood. While I am overcome with sadness at the homegoing of my friend, (O, how I’m going to miss his hugs and kind words!), I know without a doubt that Mr. Lockwood is basking in the glow of heaven – in the presence of our Savior. And once again, I am reminded that heaven grows all the sweeter with each day that passes.
We recently got to go to a For King and Country concert as a church family. (Everyone got to watch me fangirl out and listen to me talk about my love of their music – and for those sitting next to me – hear me sing so very loudly to each and every song!). To date, this is one of my most favorite activities we have done together as a church family. My favorite song played, “Burn the Ships,” and my whole family “danced upon the heartache” with me – with each other – each heartache that was represented, we chose to worship our Savior in that moment. As I looked around that night, I was struck by the reminder that God was not surprised by any of the events that had brought us to this place and time. And then I thanked Him for each and every event that brought us to that place - our home - Hill Crest Bible Church.
As most of you know, we have been renting space from the United Methodist Church, we have made many friendships with the people there – and I am so thankful for their hospitality and excitement as they cheer Hill Crest on in the Lord! Outside of the doors, stamped on a brick is the year 1986. The first time we walked through those doors and saw that date Seth and I had our Zacchaeus and the Sycamore tree moment. You know the saying that says, “Long before Zacchaeus needed the tree, God had planted the seed”? The year I was born is the year the building we are renting rooms from was built! How great is our God?
Read: Psalm 121
Consider: So often in life we are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Our calling seems too big, our equipment insufficient to complete the job, our time too short, and our energy flagging like a car trying to run on gas fumes. Psalm 121 reminds us exactly where our purpose, focus, and energy should come from! Verses 1-2 say, “I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Our help comes from the Lord. What is so great about this knowledge is that we know because our God is eternal, so are His abilities and attributes. His help won’t run out. His strength won’t fail. He doesn’t get tired of leading us and assisting us. He never grows weary, like verses 3-4 remind us, “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
I think often we make mountains out of molehills because we try to do everything by ourselves, we don’t seek the help we need or tap into the resources that are readily available! We forget that God is watching out for us and has provided us with exactly what we need, verses 5-6 tell us, “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.” Other times fear can make us freeze up and keep us from tackling our tasks, but God has not given us the spirit of fear. His Word tells us to be strong and courageous, to not fear, to stand strong, and to trust in Him. Psalm 121 closes with the perfect admonition, “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
When we focus on God and His will for our lives, we find our strength, become refueled and able to work as the unified body of Christ that He so desires us to be. Romans 15:5-6, “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And when we focus on our Jesus, we can dance upon the heartache, together, knowing Jesus is worth it all.
To-Do: Are you ready to burn the ships? How can you let go of heartache and choose to follow your Savior – not looking back – and trusting Him each step of the way?