The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
Even though this is a powerful passage and I truly believe it, sometimes this knowledge slips away from my consciousness. This concept came to actuality recently and will never be forgotten. (I hope!)
When arriving in Diengenga in June, the District Superintendent invited us to visit the new Worship Center that was created for a special week-long Revival last month. Jonathan and I followed the DS through the dense forest along a grassy path where the singing of birds provided the only audible sounds. There in an open area arose a round, one-step up area covered with bamboo branches to provide shade for those leading worship. So, so beautiful! Butterflies flittered everywhere, flinging from pink flower to yellow flower. We both felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and decided that this should become our destination during our early morning work-out jog. We loved it!
The Cataract Surgery Mission and all of the many preparations totally predominated our schedule. However, knowing that once the mission began, there would be no time for jogging, we decided to run one more time that morning. My body, especially my brain, was absolutely saturated with many stressors. Even though the music playing loudly through my ear buds from my phone inspired me, my focus was not totally on worship, which is always my objective.
And then we approached the Revival Center. And the song, through God’s perfect timing, provided an astounding message. “You are my strong tower!” I felt God’s call to me to recognize this statement, to acknowledge it and to dedicate myself to this understanding. And so, I ran to the worship “building” and clung to the strong, heavy bamboo pole that supported the weight of the roof of this structure. And as I clung and prayed, I felt God’s presence. In fact, I experienced the weight of the stress falling from my shoulders and my body trembling with peace. Also there before me appeared the face of Jesus and I wept with joy. Yes, Lord! You ARE my strong tower and I need you! But in that very moment, I could feel my body drifting away! Floating further and further into the distance! Away from Jesus! Why? And then the message clarified…Yes, I believe that Jesus supports me and loves me and values me. But, I am allowing other aspects of my life, other tensions and anxieties to ‘drift’ me away from His presence.
As I walked, encircling the bamboo structure, listening to the birds and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, I apologized for my wrongdoing and I prayed and prayed that I would never allow myself to drift away again. To never separate myself from the Lord who strengthens me. Who inspires me. Who provides every breath I take…every…single…minute.
And then I felt such joy and energy and PEACE! Again, in God’s perfect timing, the next song that played from my phone was Toby Mac’s Burn for You. “I am revived again! I am alive again!” As I ran with arms pointed to heaven and tears of joy flowing, I knew that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. And it happened! The Cataract Surgery Mission unfolded in amazing ways, with miracle after miracle and I survived, although sometimes stressed, but with the strength to make it through, as well as, acknowledging who truly made it come to fruition.
As a result of such God Moments, the Revival Center became our destination during our regular morning workout where we could exercise, pray, meditate and connect to our Strong Tower! AMEN!!
In closing, for those of you who are joggers (or who just like contemporary music), I certainly recommend the album I found recently – Run and Worship. It’s a compilation of music from various Christian artists who continue to inspire me every…single…day.
Available on iTunes.