God can use various ways in blessing us. I call them “surprise blessings”…but, they probably shouldn’t be called that at all. It’s certainly no surprise how much He loves us….so why wouldn’t He want to bless us!
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” Jeremiah 31:3 HCSB
When we find ourselves in dire situations, tough times, and what appears to be a, no silver lining in sight, God gives us one of those “surprise blessings.” Let me explain about that concept that has been rolling around in my head for the last several weeks and why I call them that.
I recently went with the First Baptist Choir of Cleveland, Tennessee on a mission trip to Washington, DC. It was a fast and furious trip, as I like to call it! We left on a Saturday and was back the following Wednesday. Various teams within the choir had been established to help two new churches that have been started in the DC area, helping getting the word out about these churches. Other teams helped area food banks, fixing meals, packing groceries, and even delivered meals with the “zip cars” within the DC area.
We sang at the National Church of God in Fort Washington, Maryland on Sunday morning, and then again at the First Baptist Church Georgetown that afternoon. What a privilege and honor to sing praises unto Him. Two of those “surprise blessings” overwhelmed me that day for me, as I’m sure for the whole choir.
The choir had gotten permission to hold a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and the next day in front of the Washington Monument! I am still in awe of those two concert days that we sang at. In awe to stand there on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking out over to the Washington Monument, singing about God’s beautiful grace and glory…it literally took my breath away, and gave me goose bumps!
As I stood there on those steps, singing about God, it was as if a gentle breeze enveloped me, holding me close. The arms of my Papa God surrounded me and blessed me! God blessed me, right there as I sang His praises. He gave me a “surprise blessing.” The choir was one voice proclaiming God’s greatness. A witness to Him who sits on the throne! A witness, of the one who was the foundation for the United States of America! A reminder for everyone that heard His praises, who was and is and is to come!
I had gone with the choir, and with the mind set that I wanted to be a blessing and to go in Jesus’ name. I pray that I was that blessing….but you know what? I received those “surprise blessings” from my Papa God! He knows how much music and singing means to me, and He used First Baptist Choir to be a blessing to me! My Papa God speaks to me through music. He speaks to me through the words and melodies of songs.
Our family is going through one of those dire situations, very tough time, and what appears to be, a no silver lining in sight that I mentioned earlier. Helping our Mom with dementia, trying to find a place for her…and helping our Dad with his various ailments. Sometimes, it’s more than we can bear. And even though, I realize how hard this all is, it doesn’t change who my great God is! He knows what my parents are going through, He will never leave or forsake them, and He will never leave or forsake us in our efforts to help them.
Another “surprise blessing” that God gave to me while in DC, was to find myself standing at one of the “National Community Church” locations. My husband and I had read the book, “In The Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson over a year ago. God used that book to minister to both me and my husband at the time. Mark Batterson is also the author of, “The Circle Maker” as well as various other books. He has been the lead pastor of the “National Community Church” in DC since 1996. NCC has grown from a core group of 19 people to one church with ten services at seven locations. The first night when we arrived in DC, we took the subway and headed for a restaurant that was on a list for us to try. We were on 8th street, known as Barracks Row. As we waited outside on the sidewalk to be seated to eat, I decided to walk down the sidewalk. I stopped in front of what looked like an old theater. It was, and it happened to be one of the new locations for the NCC church! I walked in, and that “surprise blessing” overwhelmed me. I know this may sound like kind of a silly thing to most people, but God knew how important it was to me. That’s how much He loves us! A “surprise blessing.”
The soothing power of music is well established. Listening to music has always been known to have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. Slow, quiet classical music can even be beneficial on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
God blessed me on my trip to Washington, DC, with the First Baptist Choir from Cleveland, Tennessee. Getting to know this wonderful choir more, and to even finding out that I have kin folk in it…those were other “surprise blessings” my Papa God had in store for me!
I pray that God will use music to continue to speak to me for as long as I live. For as long as I live I will proclaim His praises through the songs that testifies to His amazing love. The following verse is one of my favorite verses in the bible, and no surprise that it’s from Psalms….before I was born, I was meant to praise His holy name.
“Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Psalm 102:18 NIV