Better Questions...(and oh yeah! my trip to six flags!)

I love when God begins to work in my life. Over the last several months I have felt the cold chill of silence in my life, a great hallow chasm began to open up and all my hopes and dreams began to seep down deep into my bones. I felt like I had no direction or purpose and I would plead daily with God to give me the answers I wanted and help me on my path. He has once again begun the work He has set out for me and I can feel it strengthening my weary bones and pressing me on toward the finish line He has prepared for me. How do I know He is beginning to work? Well, I’m in anguish, I’m confused, and I’m excited. I still don’t have the answers to all the questions. I have some answers that I don’t trust…yet! Things I had hoped for so long, and well, they aren’t turning out like I thought they would. Isn’t it just like God to go and answer a prayer upside down and inside out to what you thought or hoped for? I keep my vision of the sun coming up over the glorious horizon and know that as the watchman waits for morning I will wait for my Lord. He loves me, He loves me, He loves me! I must awaken myself to that truth unnumbered times a day. He truly does love me…

God always moves…and He often moves deeply and contrary to how we thought He would. The beginning of this journey started long before the sands of time began, but the moving really started to take place with the anticipation of Mr. Agnew’s 4th album and the upcoming concert at Six Flags on July 21st. Now, many of you know my strong feelings toward Mr. Agnew no doubt. I think everything is under the divine sovereignty of our Lord Jesus and I know that the first concert, where I was introduced to Mr. Agnew, was no mistake. I have my World Vision child from that experience, and I met a man that was striving, like all of us, to seek God’s face. Throughout the albums “Grace Like Rain”, “Reflection of Something”, and “Do You See What I See?” God has ministered to me. In a mighty way. This is not to say that these albums are in anyway divine. They aren’t. They are simply a reflection of Todd’s journey and heart that he has chosen to share with the world through ministry. It is God who speaks through them, not Todd.

“Better Questions” hit shelves Tuesday July 17th, 2007. I was thrilled beyond reason. First, let me say that it is a beautiful album with a lot of challenging and truthful songs, but this was the first album that I could not whole heartily agree with. I grew up on Christian music and reading Christian authors…and I believed every word that came out of their mouth as 100% truth. I have learned through growth with the Lord, that people are human and fail each and everyday. I strive to no longer put my faith in men, but put my trust and faith in the Lord Almighty. In the end the truth stands. It is far deeper than our opinion and it can not be rocked or damaged or hurt by our opinion. It is the thing that makes the dark quiver, it is that which spoke the world into existence, it is the law by which we live by, and the divine hope and salvation that comes from the blood. Truth, in its purity, is unwavering and stubborn. Its foundation can never be shaken.

However, to say that this album hasn’t shaken me up a little is an understatement. I am thankful that Todd is opening the door for questions to be asked. I, for a long time, felt like I couldn’t ask the questions that gnawed at me because I felt like I was betraying God. I struggled with dark thoughts and deep doubt. The safest and truest place you can take those questions is the Lord Jesus. He love us, remember that, and His truth does not waver nor is He too weak or to busy to deal with our questions. I will discuss this later in another post (Qu. Pt. 3 Is it alright to ask?). I think as the body of Christ we do often try to sweep our doubt under the rug. I appreciate song writers like Nichole Nordeman, who says “who hasn’t questioned if this is a man made faith?” or authors like John Eldrege, who say “Question God with both the little and big things?” Some things I’ve questioned God over are…”Do you really exist? – in fact I told Him he didn’t and boy did he prove me wrong.” “Can I lose my salvation?” “What does happen when I die?” “Are you sure that you want me?”…Etc… These crises of faith have brought me into a deeper more personal relationship with Jesus. I will discuss it further in my next post.

The one thing this new album has done for me, it has gotten me to question. It has gotten me to thinking, and it has tested the boundaries once again of my own understanding of who Jesus is. I will not go into detail about the album. I am not here to break down the songs and share my views. Maybe after I’ve worked some things out with the Lord, more than likely not…

I have always prayed for those I care about, whether it be artists, authors, or pastors. I feel we need to hit our knees for these leaders who are being living examples of Christ for others. I think we need to hit our knees in general for others so that we all can be passionate and true in our faith…we are the only Jesus that many people will see. This album has placed me in deep prayer over Todd and the band. It has also just driven me to prayer and the Word. God is using it for His glory. It is both a struggle and refreshing to not agree with everything on a record and yet still feel its impact. I’m not sure I’ve had that experience before…

I trust the Lord for answers, because He always provides them…

Now, the concert. I love anytime that I get to spend with my sisters. It is a blessing always. Today, it was with the “Rocker Chick”. She is a firecracker, zealot, and her passion is humbling, truthful, and profound. She also is a gracious sport to indulge her poor older sister. We struggled the first part of the day. It took us forever to get tickets and we ended up not riding many rides. I’m not a big roller coaster fan anyway, so no worries. Needless to say someone was out to make sure we didn’t have a good time.

I did not purchase tickets ahead of time because it had to be in groups of 15 or more. So, my sister and I left around 9am to make it in time for the park to open. We purchased tickets, asking if their were slots still available for the “Celebration” concert. The poor lowly workers on the totem pole had no earthly clue, so we began to look for those in shirts and ties. We got run around and I bet we traveled the whole circumference of that park at least 3 to 4 times. If I never see the bridge that connects both halves of the park again it will be too soon. They were supposed to pass tickets out at noon, it was more like 12:30…by this time we were hungry, tired, and thankful that at least we had others in the boat with us, and that we knew where we were supposed to be. The rest of the day we spent standing in lines, and finally getting some nourishment in our bellies. When we finally got to the arena, we sat in the sun for 3 and half hours, poor Michelle got cooked, and then ended up going up front to see Todd perform, because there weren’t that many people there (do you think it might be because they didn’t know where to come???)…this has been the abridged version of the story.

So, the performance of, as my sister affectionately calls him…”Toddford”…that sister would be “the Diva”, not “Rocker Chick” that went with me, just to clarify. It was because Michelle and I were there, but the sound system went bust when they started to perform. Todd ended up talking for about 20 minutes while they attempted to get it fixed. In the end, past the few worship songs we did, we got to hear a total of 5 songs. This included “Grace Like Rain”, which I love, but in my opinion really accounted for us listening to 4 songs. All in all God did shine His grace down, and it was a wonderful worship time.

I did wait in line to say something to him, I always feel in those circumstances that I am rushed and things just come out wrong, but he was gracious, and a little uncomfortable. We stayed a little while for Jars of Clay, and then ended up heading home.

In the end…God was working and it was a divine appointment.

I tell you one thing I am so blessed to have a blog in times like these. I have so much pouring through me. I do not expect people to read every word if they read it at all. However, it is just a release to have it out there. More to come…stay tuned!


Gigi said…
Happy wrestling Melissa...ok maybe not happy but STAY wrestling with it, with Him, with all of it....

The truth is there are a million steps and we don’t even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them, and still worse, they are different for you and me and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth BEAUTIFUL (emphasis mine), the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us not to rely on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras or genies. Personally I was miserable before I understood these ideas….Donald Miller

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