Tuesday, July 1, 2014
We recently made a major move from Colorado to Arizona - so far most people have asked us why AZ and my response has been that I am tired of the cold and snow. A move like this means leaving behind friends and family and all you hold dear. We lived in CO for 30 years, longer than my husband and I spent in Chicago, our childhood home.
With a new place we now call home in Sun Groves, comes new people and new things. Some I am familiar with, others not so much. It was hard on Sunday to step foot into a new Church not knowing a soul. But I was drawn to this particular Church we had passed several times near our home. When I neared the entrance, it took courage just to drive up the long driveway - I noticed then, that the service had already started! That meant I was late already. Somehow I got the time wrong and almost pulled away, but GOD prompted me to park. There were other people walking in late and since the campus was large I was hoping I was going in the right direction. I did find the worship center and felt immediately at home as soon as I walked in. A gentleman found me and said, let me take you to a seat. He took me all the way up front too!
It is hard not to compare Churches, so I was wondering about the worship team and Communion. Both happened soon enough and then the sermon came. The Pastor actually spoke to us on video and I thought oh no - no live body?? I did learn later that this Church has 5 campuses and the Pastor rotates every Sunday and will actually be present at this campus next Sunday. After the service I went outside and found a cute lady at a kiosk who answered a lot of my questions. I was feeling more comfortable by then. When I looked around I was impressed with the outdoor surroundings and buildings - I felt like I was in a tropical place. Very different from back in CO.....sometimes different is fun and scary all at the same time.
But after my experience all I could think of was, what if I had driven away because I was late? What if I had let my fear take over and not parked? What if I didn't listen to GOD holding me still and guiding me? Sometimes our whole being tells us to do exactly the opposite of what our GOD wants us to do!
HE asks of us many times in our lives to step out on a limb......what we need to realize is this simple fact..... the limb is where the fruit is! So take a chance.....listen to HIM.....go ahead and try what is scary to you. HE walks alongside us to show us that the fruit with HIM is good, and lovely and productive. A branch is unable to produce fruit unless it remains on the vine, and therefore we are to remain in HIM. HIS fruit becomes ours and HIS pruning of us whether it be fear or pride, is well worth it. A step out in faith is all it takes to experience this fruit.....I am thankful I listened on Sunday. I don't know if this Church will become my home or not, but I am anxious to find out. Only time will tell. And I know I am not alone.....HIS hand is keeping me steady on this limb I have chosen.....a limb full of promise and hope and love.
JOHN 15: 4 "Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in ME."