Yesterday, as is traditional in our worship assembly, we began with singing “The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him. I’m always jolted to the reality of the seriousness of what is about to happen…worship—obeisance toward the Almighty. It’s a time to be real and reverent before the One who knows the inner recesses of heart and soul.
Late on Saturday night, a few short hours before entering the place of worship, I had gotten a call from a weeping mother—someone who had gotten the bad news that her daughter was in serious sexual trouble. Police had been involved and this desperate mom was searching for answers about parenting, about locating the right medical and counseling personnel. Even in the midst of her parental nightmare, I could not help but think about how far this mom had come from being a homeless victim of sexual abuse as a young teen in a large northern city. Seven years ago her perspectives changed when someone knocked on her apartment door and shared the gospel with her. While it was too late for all her regrets to be “fixed” this side of eternity, still, she was now at least looking in the right direction for the answers to the hard questions and predicaments caused by sin.
Then we sang, “He leadeth me, oh blessed thought! Oh words with heavenly comfort fraught. Whate’er I do, where-e’er I be, still tis God’s hand that leadeth me.”
I looked to my left and saw one of my deaf friends, Jennifer, recently baptized, faithful and fruitful, putting enthusiasm into the worship she offered through her hands as she “sang” songs we couldn’t hear, but that surely reached the throne. I saw Troy, putting all he had into leading this deaf section of worshippers. Troy just meandered over to our building one day from the nearby apartments. He was seeking truth. He learned it quickly, was baptized into Jesus and became one of the best Bible students in the church, as well as one of our best deaf interpreters. Troy lost his mom in a tornado when he was thirteen. His father is an atheist. I praised God as I watched Troy signing:
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,? Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,? By waters still, over troubled sea,? Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
I was happy, as I watched him, that God, through providence, had led Troy to a place in His life where he has a real family.
In front of me was a faithful family diligently working to raise their precious children for Him. I have personally been involved in some of their struggles. I have watched them cry in some pretty desperate times. But I watch them sing, now:
And when my task on earth is done, When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won, E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee, Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
And, in my arms I held a baby…a sweet little curly-haired Hispanic baby girl, whose mom was visiting our services. This sweet young woman found her way to Huntsville, Alabama after some pretty devastating circumstances caused her to leave her mother country. She’s a hard worker, sending money back home to her ailing mother. She has been studying the Bible with me and I am praying she will soon become a part of God’s family. I sang about the old rugged cross, knowing it holds the only hope for the little girl who slept in my arms. I pray that her sweet mother will respond in faith to the cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.
And after worship, I would get to study with Clare. Clare is visiting our services, too and she has a heart for Bible study. She, too, is seeking. She comes even when the person who initially invited her is out of town and our next study will be composed of questions she has compiled from the pretty massive amounts of Bible reading she is doing on her own. Yesterday she brought another family member to worship with her.
And I sang:
Come thou fount of every blessing. Tune my heart to sing thy praise. Streams of mercy never ceasing call for songs of loudest praise.
And as I praised the Fount, I thought, “Why me, Lord? Why was I born into a home where the gospel had already had its eternal impact on my parents? How was I so blessed to keep those parents through my childhood? Why am I the teacher instead of the seeker? I’ve never lost a loved one to a natural disaster or fled a country because of terror. Why me? Why am I blessed to be married to the one who gets up and proclaims the saving message? Who are these unbelievably tender people on the pew here with me, whose voices are so beautiful when they are blending together in praise? They are my children! Why me?”
And I sang “Teach me ever to adore Thee, May I still thy goodness prove. While the hope of endless glory fills my heart with joy and love.” My heart was full as I thought about the question: Why me?
I know I must go about proving His glory. With the realization of blessings in the extreme comes multiplied opportunities and my responsibilities gain new dimensions. I have to just look around me–in worship, in my neighborhood, and in my email—to realize the debt I owe. I must be filled with love for the lost. I must be willing to sacrifice time for those who struggle. I must share my remarkable hope of endless glory. Therein lies the answer, at least in part, to the question, “Why me?”