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December 15, 2012 / Pastor George Fike

On the 3rd Day of Christmas… I Love the Lord


george headMy friend, Jerry Birdsong, recently shared the following on a facebook post:

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Two young boys were being reared by their grandparents. At bedtime one night, with Christmas fast approaching, the two young boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers. The youngest began praying at the top of his lungs: “I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE…I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE…I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE…”

His older brother leaned over and nudged the younger brother and said, “Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn’t hard of hearing.” To which the younger brother replied, “No, but Gramma is!”

I appreciate the theology of the older brother and admire the methodology of the younger!! Especially since Gramma and I may be close to the same age and my hearing is not what it used to be. But aren’t you glad God is not hard of hearing?

The Psalmist said: “I love the Lord for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:1-2)

In your mind picture a ladder. Now imagine that the rungs of the ladder represent our prayers. The bottom rung would be prayers such as, “Lord, help me to get a close parking spot.” Or, “Lord, please help me to not be late to work.”

As you go up the ladder, the rungs represent prayers that are closer to our hearts, such as, “Lord, help my friend come to know You.” Or, “Lord keep my teenager safe as she is driving.”

Think about the top rung. What is that prayer for you? The one that sometimes hurts to pray. Is it for the cancer not to return? Is it for a hurting marriage?

Now I want you to think about the times God has answered your prayers. What are the most-recent 10 prayers He has answered? Was it for a favor at work? Was it to pass a test?

Think about that top rung again. Is it too big for God? The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” God is able to meet any need you are facing: salvation, healing, provision, restoration. We serve a God who created the universe, and nothing is too big for Him.

Those of us in the business of helping people know full well that this time of year, while a time of celebration and joy for many, can be a difficult time for others. Issues that tend to simmer just below the surface the rest of the year can boil over during these months. Relationship issues, financial issues, family problems, missing a loved one who has passed etc. all these things can seem larger this time of year. Just remember, Gramma and the chaplain may not have the hearing they used to have but God is not hard of hearing. And He takes the initiative to do something for those hopeless and hurting. That’s the real message of Christmas.

Selah (pause and think on that)

Courtesy of 106th Sig Bde Chaplain

familyxmas2003-2When I think of this Psalm (116), the McCloud family always comes to my mind. I met Thom and Karen at Hickory Creek Community Church a few months before they married. Karen had only recently trusted Christ as her Savior, and Thom had not yet crossed that line. I became their pastor a few months before their wedding. I had been the worship leader for 4 years, and Karen was on my worship team. They had to make a lot of adjustments to bring their relationship in line with their newfound faith, but I am pleased to say that they rose to that challenge, with few slips and falls. They became very dear to my heart and that of my family.
Over the course of the next few years, Thom and Karen tried to begin their family, but biologically things were not going well. Karen had had several health issues that made motherhood nigh impossible. I remember sitting with Thom at a Naperville hospital waiting for Karen to come out of a surgery that hopefully would enable her to conceive. But still it looked hopeless. I prayed for them in that hospital room that God would bless them with a child.
Yet it looked as though adoption was their only option.
Fortunately their prayers led them down a great path. They found a Christian agency that paired them with a young expectant mother. Thom was somewhat disappointed because it had been important to him to have a child from his own genetics. But one Thanksgiving as our church gathered for prayer, Thom stood up and said, “I’ve been looking at this all wrong. We have an opportunity to make a home for a child who otherwise might not have a great chance at life. I can see how God has made this opportunity for us. Now I KNOW this is God’s plan!” I got a call the following week. Yep. Karen was pregnant. When their relatives heard the news, they said, “I guess you don’t need to go through with the adoption now, huh?” Thom and Karen said, “No. God has arranged this. We’ll be parenting both children.”

And so were born, in May and July respectively, Savannah – their daughter by choice, and Noah John – their son by generation. What a blessing it has been to see these two “twins” grow up side by side. What a great work God has done because their mom and dad committed that “when … in need, (they) would call on Him as long as (they) live.”
Last December my wife, Verneda, and I went to stay with the McClouds one weekend. While we were there, Karen shared a story. She had been going through a drawerful of papers while cleaning and saw a hospital invoice from the past. As she looked to see what it was, she noticed the date and said, “That’s Noah’s birthday. Must be from the hospital.” Then she noticed: it was from the year prior. After a closer examination, she realized it was from the hospital where Thom and I waited for her surgery to complete. Karen looked at me and said, “Do you realize? Noah was born a year almost to the minute from when you prayed in my hospital room that Thom and I would have a child of our own!” I was dumbfounded! But how could I not remember my God hears the cries of the broken?

Karen sings with me on a song I wrote based on Psalm 116. For my 3rd gift of the season, enjoy the video of their beautiful God-given family. And again, if you can’t wait until Christmas, enjoy all 12 songs HERE.

I Love The Lord (Psalm 116)
George Fike © 2001 The ShanDaLa! Company, All rights Reserved. CCLI Song No. 3416071
I love the Lord for He heard my voice
He had the heart to forgive
He turned His ear to the sound of my tears
I will call on Him as long as I live

The Lord is gracious and just full of mercy for me
The Lord watches over the simple in heart
When I am in need
I will call on Him as long as I live

How can I repay the debt He paid
I will lift up the cup of salvation and love
And call on the name of my Lord
In His name I will pray I will serve and obey
I will call on Him as long as I live

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