This weekend I was scheduled to preach at Ocean View Methodist Church once again, something I am privileged to do every month. It is something I look forward to every month as I love teaching an building God’s word into my church community. But this month I was a little nervous about it.
This would be my first sermon at OV Methodist since D-DAY (Keller’s diagnosis day) and I was unsure of my steps. I have wondered in the past two months on many occasions if I would get up to speak or lead at something and just fall into an overwhelming crying spell in the middle of a sentence. It hasn’t happened, but I have wondered… I wasn’t sure if I could get through an entire sermon, but more I wasn’t sure I had the emotional energy to listen to God’s voice for my church and then write a sermon. It takes a lot of my heart and mind and emotional space and I take it very seriously. But in praying about this sermon I felt led to move forward and began praying through the sermon.
I felt two things should be said. I first knew that I should just tell Keller’s story and confess where we were emotionally. We had told our church of Keller’s diagnosis but not much else, and I wanted to share. The facts of the diagnosis are important but I also wanted them to know of their pastor’s broken heart and unsteady future. But second I felt God wanted me to share His simple truth that He is with us in dark days and difficult times.
Sharing my story of Keller’s diagnosis of autism NOW is hard because the story isn’t finished. We don’t know the last chapter and I have no idea if it will ever be tied up in a nice bow. I hate telling stories in the middle when they are still hard. I like the finished version where it’s OVER and I am DONE and my heart is put back together. But this weekend I felt God telling me to tell the story now. Tell it from the darkness.
From the ‘not yet.’ From the wanting and waiting place. From today.
However, even in the dark, there are many things to claim and celebrate, and God led me to the end of Romans 8 in preparing to share my story. In these days though, Romans 8 is hard to believe at times.
Paul writes, “ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” -Romans 8:37
I don’t feel much like a conquerer these days. I feel like a survivor. I feel like a crying mess. I feel like a barely making it momma. I feel like we are getting by. But a CONQUERER? Where is the conquering and victory in TODAY?? The tomorrows might have victory stories, but TODAY?
God has simply laid it on my soul that the victory in today is HIM. HE is the victory. HE is the conquering of my situation. No matter how dark it feels and look HE is with me. He is loving me, fighting for me, and blessing me with his presence.
HE IS THE TREASURE. HE IS THE PRIZE. HE IS THE VICTORY.
Where are you needing a conquering spirit in your life? Because Jesus says we are MORE than conquerers because He is with us.
Hallelujah and AMEN.
(See full sermon notes below)