Yesterday, from the pulpit, I told EBC if I had to assign a grade to the year 2011, I would give it an “A!” Then I said I would explain that at another time and another place. Then, about 45 seconds later, I explained it … But here is a more thorough explanation.
When I reflect on 2011, in some ways it has been extremely difficult. Bordering on brutal. Of course, there was THAT DAY I should’ve called in sick to work: March 3. I took a wrong step off a curb, broke 2 elbows (I would’ve broken three if I’d had 3) and my life is now changed forever. I’d never been so helpless in my adult life. I’d never gone FIVE solid months without being able to sleep all night, regardless of whether or not I took pain medication. For me, one of the worst things about it was the uncertainty for the first ten weeks, not knowing if my left elbow would heal tight or if the doctor would have to go back in and start all over.
There was a lot of prayer and there was a lot of trust. After surgery, while laying in the hospital, I remember hearing Steve Green in my mind singing “Praise the Lord.” I’ve always believed that God inhabits the praise of His children. So I started praising Him. This was NOT a reaction to pain medication or a delirious outcry. I remember consciously realizing God can and will make a difference IF I permit Him to do it. I started praying “Lord, use this somehow.” He has used it soooooo many times in the past few months that I cannot list it all here. HE IS GOOD, and HE IS FAITHFUL. And He makes GOOD on His promises!!!
Now, I realize that all of this sounds like what you would expect a pastor to write … But I’m telling you this is 100% true. And He didn’t do this because I am a pastor … and I didn’t cry out to Him because I have some special communication channel with Him (some people really believe that). I don’t have a bat phone to heaven, although if I did, that would be REALLY COOL. No, I was able to make those petitions because I AM HIS CHILD. Plain and simple. And, if YOU are His child, YOU have the same opportunity to give Him your disasters and He can make something incredible out of it. And YOU can bring Him glory with it.
So, all in all, I DO give 2011 an “A!” God is on His throne, He is still working miracles all around us, and He WILL use a wretch like me when I allow Him to!!!!