Thursday, July 7, 2011

On birthdays...both biological and spiritual

Tomorrow, my daughter, Sophie, will turn seven years old. Five years ago to the day, Alyson, Sophie, and I stood before our current church in view of a call (That's the Baptist version of an interview Sunday).  My son, John Curtis was on the way but had not yet arrived. Day to day, you don’t notice your children growing, but growing they are. How different Sophie is today than the little toddler she was just five years ago. Then, she needed her mom and me for almost everything. Today, she still needs us, but she also has her own interest, her own books, and her own opinions. She is also, Lord willing, developing her own faith.

It was twenty-six Julys ago that I gave my young heart to the Lord as a seven-year-old boy. I don’t remember much about that day. I couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about or what the weather was like. I do remember singing the treasured hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” I also remember vividly the experience of being awakened to God’s presence for the very first time. No doubt, God had been with me since he knit me together in my mother’s womb, but on that Sunday, for the first time, I became aware that he was there. The God of my biological parents, the God of my spiritual forefathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, became the God of Taylor Sandlin.

Since that day, I have not always been as aware of the Lord’s presence as I was in that moment. Every now and then I get a glimpse of his workings, but mostly, I have to trust that like a seed in the ground or yeast in the dough, his kingdom is at work in me even if that work is difficult to discern. Jesus encourages us, that’s just the way of the kingdom. It’s small, hidden, at times, irrelevant to the world, but it’s accomplishing its purposes in you and me and all who believe, nonetheless. Someday, at the Father’s choosing, the seeds of the gospel that have taken root in this world will bear much fruit. On that day, we’ll no doubt be surprised at how much we each have grown.

And what shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough – Luke 13:20-21

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