Wow...where to start, it was an amazing, rejuvenating, soothing, eye-opening....I could go on and on!
Wednesday night, we get there and a new group to Jubilee was there - The Keffers. They have such a beautiful sound, so full of the spirit. I had never heard them, but look forward to hearing more! The Whisnants were there, one of my favs and they are amazing. Their songs touch the heart, bring tears to your eyes...near sobs sometimes. They sing my favorite song...Even in The Valley, it is a song so close to my heart right now...this valley is hard, but I know my God is good - ALL THE TIME! The choir and church groups did so great, if I may say so myself as I did sing in the choir. Doug was his usual phenomenal self, his voice and the conviction with it is so touching. But, as good as the music was...the sermons were all wonderful!
Steve Hubbard preached the first night, after a little comedy skit that he does he came in dressed as David. He preaches in first person. He describes himself and the things he has been through, the way the Lord has used him in his life. He first told how God introduces us to things and puts things in our lives that we have no clue why. Imagine David picking up stones and using the sling...not knowing that he would use that talent to defeat a giant in his life.
God had put things in Davids life, he defended his sheep from a lion and a bear. Then here came this giant, mocking his God. Goliath was even offended that they sent a boy with a staff and sling shot. The devil does that sometimes, planting a seed in our hearts and minds that we are ill-equipped to fight our giants.
God sent that Giant, and David ran into the valley....he didn't wait for the giant to get to him, her ran to him and told him "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands."
The valley was the battleground, and when we are in the valley we should look to Who is in control of our battles. Not all things happen like we want, but we have to have the faith to trust in God that He is in control. David had faith that God would protect him and bring him to victory. By faith our weaknesses are turned into strength! David doesn't take any weapon or armour that Saul offered him, he chose to put on the whole armour of God. We can't make the mistake of thinking, though, that David is helpless and defenseless before Goliath. Don't forget, David is a tool, an instrument, a weapon, in the hands of God. And, he goes into battle with the name of the LORD on his lips. We give our giants too much power, thinking we can't...I can't. Being frightened and filled with fear brings us to inaction...kind of like the Israelites.
We all have Goliath's in our lives. The battles rage on and the devil gets a little toe hold when we are weak in body or spirit. We look into ourselves for strength, we look to our families and friends...but we have to remember that the battle is the Lord's and so is the victory. And there will be a victory...maybe not in what we feel is the perfect time frame...but our Father loves us and He will be faithful to us...we just have to be faithful to Him!
I sat up in the choir, the tears flowing, knowing that part of my problem is giving my battles to the Lord. I have even been holding in how things are to my family and friends who really want to pray for me and need to know what is going on. I feel defeated in this battle. I have just been grinning and bearing it ... alone sometimes. I am not alone, He is forever with me. But that pit of fear, that fear that the battle will rage on for a much longer time. The fear that nothing will ever get better, the fear that I will wear out my family and friends with my pain and suffering. Fear leads to defeat and I will not be defeated.