Sunday I sat in the audience singing along with worship just like everyone else. The only difference was that I had helped to pick out the songs we were singing together. Many weeks I try to write my sermon and then pick out songs that might tie to it. Then I send those off to the ladies who lead to put everything together for worship. Some weeks things fit together nicely by simple design and some weeks do not fit together no matter how hard I try. This week I picked out some songs that might fit and hoped for the best. On Sunday as I stood there singing I really focused in on the lyrics and noticed how much connected to my sermon. In fact, a few of the lines were written down in my sermon without me even thinking about it. I was truly amazed at how well everything tied together.
I should not be surprised, God had done the same type of thing twice through the week. First, I was looking for an opening video and I ran across a couple I liked. One of them caught my attention and I thought it might fit in nicely. It was “I Still Believe” by Jeremy Camp. As I listened to the words I wondered if there was a story behind the song. After a Google search, I was shocked to read about the death of his first wife and his struggle to remain faithful. In one quick moment I not only had the opening video but a powerful illustration for my sermon. Second, I was thinking about the best way to end my sermon and a possible illustration. That very morning I opened up my blog reader called feedly and saw a review of a book by J.I. Packer that was about aging and ministry. I clicked a couple of links and there I read about 88-year-old Packer telling people to continue their ministry even in their old age. It was a perfect fit for my sermon.
Why do I tell you all of this? Let me be 100% clear, it is not because I want you to think I am brilliant in my planning. I tell you this because I am amazed at all the little ways that God shows up each and every week. Somehow each week God shows up and gives me the right illustration, He leads us to pick out the right song or puts together some small connection that I could never have imagined on my own. After my 22 years of preaching God has never ceased to amaze me. People stop me after the program and tell me how God touched their life that day or how that was exactly they needed to hear. I wish I could take credit for being the most inspiring preacher to ever speak, but I know that is far from the truth. I plan and I pray and God takes the pieces and puts them all together in a powerful way.
All this leaves me convinced that God can do that with anything. He can take your simple everyday actions and touch someone’s life. He can take your unplanned words and use them for His plan. He can take a song on the radio and speak to my heart. He can take a scene in a movie and touch us all in a deep and dramatic way. I truly believe it is possible for God to be present in all of the small stuff of our lives.
To God be the Glory.