I had a lovely weekend surrounded by family, friends and my church family. On Friday was my church’s Good Friday Music Night. Different church members formed into groups to sing songs reflecting on the death of Christ, the cross and His resurrection. I was part of a group that sang Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can it Be.” It was a challenge to sing, but so worth it. It truly is a beautiful hymn. My son played the piano to a song called “Grace and Peace.” I had a proud mommy moment watching him overcome his nervousness and play the piano. Then my pastor gave a brief message presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The entire program must have lasted about two hours, maybe even short of two hours.
Excited about mine and my son’s musical presentation, I invited several people. My husband and friend were the only ones able to attend, the others could not make it. My friend brought along her aunt and son. The evening went so well. My son did his piano number and I sang my little heart out. My brothers and sisters also presented their songs so divinely.
Everything seemed to be going well and my guests enjoying themselves until my pastor preached. As he spoke I looked over to my husband and friend from my corner seat and saw to my surprise…restlessness. My husband was continuously yawning every so often and my friend uncontrollably shaking her legs. I tried to focus on the message as best I could and tune them out, but I was distracted. I kept thinking “Why aren’t they interested? This is good.” In the end, I was just frustrated and disappointed.
Finally, the end of the message arrived, believers partook of the Lord’s Supper and the service came to an end. We prayed for the food, the congregation was dismissed and everyone moved towards the dinner hall for fellowship. Much to further my disillusion, as the congregation was exiting the sanctuary, my friend quickly said her goodbyes and departed with her guests. She said that she had to quickly drop off her aunt because her son wanted to spend as much time with her as possible before she left back to Cuba in a few days. My husband, on the other hand, stayed a little longer but did not want to fellowship. He just wanted to grab the dinner and go!
And that’s not the worst part. The next day I see that my friend, who made it seem like her aunt had to be home by midnight like Cinderella, posts a picture with her aunt at a restaurant where they were having dinner nearly 40 minutes after they left. I was truly let down.
I thought I had gotten over Friday’s ordeal since my mind was occupied the rest of the day Saturday at the beach (Which was excellent!) and Resurrection Sunday was filled with sweet fellowship. On Monday, however, I found myself dwelling on the what occurred on Friday night. I was just so disappointed about the whole thing. I cannot begin to tell you how discouraging it is to invite people to church and see them leave pretty much the same way they came in, but with more speed. It is like you want them to respond to the message heard and feel deep conviction for their sins. You go through the week praying that the Lord may use the service and message to impact your loved ones, only to see that the only impact it seemed to have made is their desire to leave the premises as quickly as possible. What a bummer, I tell you!
Wallowing in my hopelessness for the souls of my loved ones, I start singing a song we learned at my church’s mission’s conference this past February. There is something special about music and God’s people that they resort to singing when they are feeling low. Praise God for hymns. 🙂 Anyway, the song is called For the Sake of His Name. I remember having a copy of the lyrics in my tote bag at work and so I started reading.
Go to the world for the sake of his name;
to every nation His glory proclaim.
Pray that the Spirit wise
Will open darkened eyes,
Granting new life to display Jesus’ fame.
Love the unloved for the sake of His name;
Like Christ, befriend those
Whose heads hang in shame.
Jesus did not condemn,
But was condemned for them.
Trust gospel power, for we once were the same.
Oh my goodness! The Lord immediately reminded me that my husband and friend (and the rest of my loved ones) are not saved. What else do I expect? Their hearts are darkened, their eyes do not see. They are in the kingdom of darkness as of now. And what’s more, I once was the same.
1 Corinthians 6: 9-11
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 2: 1-5
2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
I mean, what is up with me getting in my feelings and making Friday’s event about me anyway? The Lord is working, let Him do His job! I was reminded to trust my God, for our times are in His hands. He is sovereign and in full control of all situations. My prayer is that the seed that has been planted in my husband, friends and loved ones will grow abundantly. I am to plant the seed or water it, but only God Almighty will cause it to grow.