Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, August 24, 2015

Take Me Deeper

Psalm 62:5-8 "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."

Have you ever sat in a church and felt that the service was just for you? Have you ever sat there and felt the Holy Spirit prodding you? Maybe it was to forgive someone, or maybe it was to change something in your life that you know was wrong...it could be anything that God is wanting to teach you. That was my experience yesterday morning at church. The songs, the prayers, the scripture reading, and then the message were exactly what I needed to hear. On Friday I was telling my sister Sarah about a fear that I was struggling with in my prayer life. To understand my "fear", let me walk you back a few months (almost a year now). There is a very special person in my life who I have been fervently praying for God to reach. Last year I started praying that God would use any means necessary to reach her. After praying that prayer, the girls and I were in a car accident (you can read more details here). This stirred a little reaction in the individual, but I guess God wasn't done reaching her. I kept fervently praying and fasting for her. I told God whatever it takes, whatever means were necessary, it would be worth it for this person's eternal soul. Not long after praying that, we found out Wayne had brain cancer. These could be two totally unrelated events, but I honestly believe that God was answering my earnest prayer to reach this individual. Of course when I prayed that prayer I was thinking He would use other means to reach this person...maybe losing their job, a break up, losing a pet, etc. It never crossed my mind that God might use our family to reach this person. 

Now that you have that background, maybe you can understand the fear I've been battling. I have been feeling God calling me to pray the same prayer again for this person (whatever it takes Lord, use it). I have been terrified to pray that way though because I'm afraid God will take Wayne in response to that prayer. My fear is probably totally unwarranted, but I have been struggling with this for a few weeks. Do I respond in obedience and pray, not knowing what the "whatever it takes" entails? Or do I run like Jonah believing that "Nineveh" (aka this special person) isn't worth it? I hadn't vocalized this fear until I talked to my sister Sarah on Friday. Life went as normal on Saturday and then Sunday came along. God used the service on Sunday to speak very clearly to me. He spoke so clearly to my heart it was hard to miss the message. 

The first time I heard His still small voice was during the song "Oceans". Here are the lyrics that spoke so deeply to me. Really the whole song spoke to me...

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I felt God reminding me of how He has never failed me...why would He start now? Do I want to go deeper? Do I want my faith to be made stronger? If so, I need to step out of the boat (where I feel secure and safe) and step out on the water and trust God. I have to keep my eyes fixed on Him and not allow the waves to distract me from what God is calling me to do. He was telling me gently, "Rebecca, you know what I want you to do. Trust me and pray."

If that song wasn't providing a clear enough message, the next song completed the message. We sang "It Is Well" by Todd Fields. "It Is Well" is one of my favorite hymns of all times. Here are the lyrics to this version:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well, it is well; 
through the storm I am held;
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

It is well, it is well; 
through the storm I am held;
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well, it is well; 
God has won, Christ prevailed;
It is well, it is well with my soul

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
Even so, it is well with my soul

It is well with my soul It is well, 

it is well with my soul

God used this song to gently remind my heart that even if He were to answer my prayer in the way that I fear, He would be with me every step of the way. He will provide me what I need and I will proclaim that "it is well with my soul". He is faithful and will be with me regardless of what I face in life. God is so gentle and patient with us! Okay Lord, one leg out of the boat...

God wasn't giving me a break on Sunday. The scripture reading for the morning was Psalm 62:5-8 (see above). This is a portion of scripture that God has been using in my life throughout this difficult journey. God was reminding me that He is my rock and I can trust in Him at all times, regardless of the situation. He has been so faithful throughout this whole process, why would He change that now? Okay Lord, lifting my other leg up...

The final reminder came through the sermon. Part of the sermon was on the message from Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Jesus is telling us to come to Him. We are weak and when we yield to Him, He helps carry our burden. His yoke is easy because He is carrying all the weight for us. It really is a beautiful picture. Imagine two oxen. One ox is weak and can hardly carry the load (that would be us), another ox gets added to the mix (Jesus). That ox helps carry the heavy burden. He does all the work. As we are walking along, we can look to the side and see this ox by our side the whole way. Jesus does this for us. As we yield to Him and take up His yoke, we find that He is right there along side of us every step of the journey. He carries us and our burdens. 

Okay God...I got and I get the message. You want me to yield all my fears to You!! You have this and You'll be by my side carrying me. I just have to trust You and step out of the boat. I want my faith to grow stronger, go deeper, and I want to follow whatever God calls me to do, regardless of how difficult it is. I remember having a dream back in January where I was told that I only had two days to live. I remember looking at Wayne and telling him that I had so many people to tell about that Lord. When I woke up from the dream, I recall telling Wayne that I really need to live like that every day. None of us know what tomorrow holds for us. Unlike the Hollywood version of heaven, we can't get up to there and tell God we need more time to get our life straight or tell more people about Him. We only have a set number of days, which none of us know. How are we going to live our lives? I want to be ready for my bridegroom when He comes and want to be found a faithful servant who was doing the work of my master. So, the first thing I am going to do is pray fervently for this special person in my life. I am going to pray that God uses whatever means are necessary to reach her heart for Him. May God receive all the glory and honor in this prayer!

May we all long to have God take us deeper in our walk with Him!! Pardon me as I jump off this boat and start walking...


Wayne went to the doctor this morning for his monthly appointment. We are scheduled to begin cycle 4 of chemo next Thursday. So far Wayne is doing amazing. God has been so good to us! In light of reading some bad news on the Facebook GBM page, I'm even more amazed at how God is working in Wayne's life. All the glory and honor goes to Him!! There is nothing we are doing that is bringing about the results Wayne is experiencing. It can only be the hand of God working in His life. Still, in light of all the bad news, I plan on not taking any moment with Wayne for granted. Everyone should go love on their spouse and family members. Life is too short to hold on to expectations and arguments that divide us. God reminded me of that this morning as we drove to Wayne's appointment, instead of taking the train as we had planned. We would have missed the train if we tried to catch it and traffic was phenomenal going downtown. I had worked up in my mind this peaceful train ride and amazing walk (4 miles round trip). What could be better then getting time with Wayne and exercise? When my plans got messed up, I became slightly upset. It took almost the whole ride to Northwestern for me to let go of my expectations and enjoy the change of plans. We ended up having a great morning together and even got a good laugh at my expense. Go love on your family and don't waste a minute of your life here on earth!!

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