Thursday, December 1, 2005

The Right Place

Petra Means Rock! And I mean that. But unfortunately, after a third of a century of rocking people around the world with their uncompromised message of faith in their music, the rock band Petra is calling it quits at the end of this year. Over the years, many of their songs have touched my life, but there’s one song in particular which the Lord used one day in my life to comfort me and reassure me when I was questioning the direction in which my life seemed to be moving. I wasn’t questioning God’s actual plans for my life. I knew that I knew that I knew what He had called me to do. But I was questioning why the path He had me on didn’t seem to have anything to do with fulfilling the plan!

You see, several years ago God started putting certain dreams and desires in my heart, in regards to ministry, and I guess I sorta kinda figured that He would bring it all to pass fairly quickly. But in short, each time I tried to make it happen I would end up frustrated and I felt like I had failed to live up to God’s call on my life. Now, I knew (in my head) all the Bible stories with characters who waited for years before God’s promises were fulfilled, and I tried to encourage myself with that type of thinking. However, my seeming failure to live out God’s call on my life continued to be on my mind more than I would have liked. Had I not “really” heard God correctly? Had I not prayed enough? Was sin keeping me from God’s will? Was I simply not disciplined enough to go through with this? Doubt-filled questions like these haunted me on and off for a few years.

One day, as I was driving from Waterloo to Jesup as part of my job, my mind was going somewhat crazy due to this self-focused fear and doubt. But as I drove along, the Lord began to encourage me. Not so much in words, but simply by giving me the understanding I needed in my heart, God was telling me that I was exactly where He wanted me and all I needed to do was to keep trusting Him. I had not moved “out of His will for me.” His plan would come to pass, not because He was dependant upon me to fulfill it, but because He is God! He is not slow in fulfilling His plans. I’m simply wrong to think that “I” can do it and that it will be done in my timing, no matter how logical my own timing may seem!

Tiny tears were beginning to form in my eyes as a little bit of weight was lifted off of me, as my thoughts turned from worrying about how weak this clay jar is to how exceedingly great is the power of the Potter. But things were just getting started. I had randomly grabbed some music to listen to that day. The first song I listened to, “The Right Place” by Petra, literally melted my heart. The song is an anthem for those who feel weak, for those who feel they can’t make it, for those who feel the odds are against them, for those who feel like giving up, for those who feel there’s no way out. The chorus goes: You're in the right place - trusting only Him. You're in the right place - kick back and just depend. You're in the right place - to see what He can do. You're in the right place - He will come through.

The verses and chorus of the song went along perfectly with how the Lord had been encouraging my heart. All of a sudden my slightly moist eyes became flowing rivers as I realized that I really was right where God wanted me to be! I was in the right place - I was trusting Him. But this is still not the end of the story. God had more for me that day. I exited off of Highway 20 and headed into Jesup. With tears still streaming down my face, I looked up as I approached a stop sign at a T intersection. Across the road was Jesup’s big welcome sign with big words sticking out to me like they’d never stuck out before - “THE RIGHT PLACE.”

What’s left in a person when his tears are already like gushing rivers?!?! I literally could not contain myself! Within less than ten minutes, I had gone from doubt and fear to a nice dose encouragement, to a sobbing fool who could not contain the joy and rapture which came when the Spirit moved the truth from a man’s head to his heart.

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