Great word from Elizabeth Brock…
I have always said that the week of July 4th is my favorite of the month, but Handy Week runs a close second. I have a blast listening to music all over town with my family and friends.
However, one of my favorite nights of this past Handy week was not a Handy event. On that Thursday night, I went to Clements Baptist Church in Athens to hear a gospel singer named Charles Billingsly. The music was brilliant, but it was actually through something Billingsly said that God really spoke to my heart.
Billingsly has built his ministry around his voice, so you can imagine his panic when a doctor looked at him and told him that he might never sing again. Billingsly had a throat condition that required serious surgery. The night before his surgery, he called together a group of family and friends to sit and pray on his behalf. The last person to pray approached Billingsly before he started, looked him straight in the eyes, and asked this pivotal question:
“If God chooses not to heal you, and if you can never sing again, will you still love Him? Will you still serve Him?”
When I heard that question, I decided to put it into context for my own life.
Here is an excerpt from my journal entry on the following Friday morning:
Father God, I just want you to know something: If, for some reason, my hands are amputated and I can never write another word, I will still serve You. If I am never married or have a family of my own, I will still trust You. If everyone I love should walk away from me, I will still call You faithful. If things get hard and I become a modern day Job, I will still love You. Because the truth is, all of those things are extra blessings. If you had never done anything else for me, dying on the cross for my sin was enough for me to commit to loving and serving You until my dying breath. The cross was enough. You are enough for me.
Maybe we all need to take a hard look at the what-ifs in our lives. Gaze into the beady eyes of the things we fear most and declare that “even-if _____” we will still love and serve the one who saved our souls.
The last night of Handy week, I went to hear a few musicians play at First Baptist Church. The theme of their set list was “Hymns of Our Faith.” They played one of my favorite hymns, and the lyrics go beautifully with what God has taught me this week:
It Is Well with My Soul:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Can you sing those words in truth? Is it well with your soul?