Thank you for the conviction.
The Lord has blessed me in many ways. He has given me gifts that I am very thankful for. But of all the gifts He has given me, He never looked my way when it came to dancing. Plain and simple, I cannot dance! I dance like Steve Urkel on caffeine. If I did a rain dance we would have a drought for the next three years. My name and rhythm is an oxymoron. It is just wrong for both to even appear in the same sentence. But this last week, I have had dancing on my mind.
A brother in Christ, Bart Millard, wrote the famous words, “Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel. Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still?”. What powerful words! Words that brings us to the reality of that promised day we will each experience. A day we rarely think about, but a day we all know we will see and face. What will our reaction be on that day? Will we find ourselves on our knees in shame? Or will we dance with joy?
Over the last few days, that reaction has become a reality for me. The events of this week have keep the words of Bart’s song on my mind. I prayed several times this week with a man who was dying. a man whose life was filled with regret. A man who had come to know that God was real, but could not come to accept Christ as his Savior. A man who had fallen so far, but could not fall to his knees in prayer.
I also prayed with a relative of mine this week. A woman who has forever changed my life. A woman who has always been there for me. A woman after God’s own heart, who lives each day for Christ. I prayed and watched as she went through a heart procedure. Her fate had already been decided by her faith, but the heart they worked on is one that many in this world would deeply miss. I praised the Lord, as the news of her procedure came back positive, knowing her love for Christ would be shared with many here for years to come.
One, who I fear found himself on his knees in shame this week. Another who I know will one day dance in the presence of the Lord. The reality of that day, and the reaction that would come, very real in both of their lives this week.
As many of you know, I am in the last stages of cancer. Although that day is not on me yet, I can hear its’ footsteps, and can feel it approaching. Each day, I can feel the events of that day take a greater toll on me than they did the month or week before. The reality of the cancer does not surprise me. It is a part of my life, an inevitable part of this life I am glad the Lord has given me the strength to work through and around. But each day I am amazed. As this life slowly escapes me each day, I feel His love taking its’ place. I can feel His arms surrounding me, and each day He holds me in arms and allows me to rest my body in His Holiness. He shows me a little more each day, that the grasp He has on me is stronger than my struggle with cancer.
But that grasp should not surprise me, as I have felt it pulling me close for many years now. Several years ago, the Lord sought out a rebellious young man. When He found him, He found a man consumed with himself, living his life for his own needs and his own greed. I am so thankful each day, that His will was stronger than my desires. The Lord reached into the pits of Hell to pull out the most undeserving man He could find in me. He showed me the truth, and He gave my life purpose. My life was no longer consumed by my wants, but would come to be defined by His needs.
In the years ahead, the Lord taught me His wisdom, and trained me in His ways. He soon called me to walk a different path, a path that would lead me to serving Him. Somewhere in my mind, I could not understand this call. How could the Lord possibly use such an undeserving man? So I ran from that call, as far and fast as I could. But praise the Lord, He ran faster and farther than me. Each step of the way, He brought my focus back to the foot of the Cross. He showed me that the day I first found myself there on my knees, this undeserving man was made deserving.
As my faith grew, the Lord began to give me opportunities to share His mercy and grace with those around me. To share with others what He had done in my life, and to show them what an awe-inspiring difference that only He could make in theirs. One of these opportunities was to share Christ with one of my closest and oldest friends from college. On several occasions I told him of what Christ had done in my life. I watched and listened at first as he would quickly change the subject. Over time, and through many prayers, I saw him begin to ask me questions about the Lord.
One day he messaged me, asking if I would talk to him about Christ, and what it meant to be saved. I messaged him back, and told him I would like nothing more. It was a very hectic week, so I asked him if he had time to talk about it in a couple of days. As I called him a few days later, my heart stopped. I soon learned that the night before, the tire on his car had blown out while on a back road coming home. His car flipped several times, and in the crash he died immediately.
That call haunts me to this day. I will never know if my delay to talk to him about Christ was at the cost of his eternity. What was the price of my excuse of a hectic schedule? If I had picked up the phone that day, and spent just a hour of my time talking to him, where would my friend be today? My failure to give a few minutes of my time that day, has resulted in endless hours of regret since. I cannot tell you the days I have prayed the Lord will forgive me for this lost chance. And the time that haunts me wondering if he is dancing for joy today,or on his knees in shame. An opportunity gone, a time of joy that may have never been gained.
Please, please hear my words. The opportunity the Lord places in your hands today, can be a lifetime cherished tomorrow. Or it can be a lost reality that may never come your way again. Make this day count for the Lord. These opportunities not only allow us to bring glory to God, they bless our lives in ways we can never begin to measure. These opportunities show the world, there are no coincidences when it comes the God. He has had a purpose in mind from the start, and He wants nothing more than to see in our actions His plan being fulfilled. That our willing reply to His call will bring glory to His name. Whether we accept, and then follow through with these opportunities or not, the Lord’s purpose and plan will be fulfilled, and His glory will be shown. If not us, He will call on another who will be willing to help fulfill His plan. The choice is ours. Will we experience regret, for not being there when the Lord needs us most? Or will we share in the joy, as we watch His purpose and plan being fulfilled?
With my life as an example, I pray each of you will take to heart this one request I make. Dance! Dance with joy before the Lord! Dance, because of the difference that only He could have made in your life! As He holds you close, dance, for the love He has for you! And dance, for each of the opportunities He gives us to share that love with those around us each day! Never forget, the opportunity or call He gives you today, is a dance of joy you will get to share with someone else tomorrow. Please do not let these opportunities slip away for you today. There will be no greater joy than when you look across that ballroom floor on a future day, and see the loving faces of all those whose life the Lord has led you to invite to the dance. Just please remember, hold on tight to Christ, always let Him lead, and cherish the gracefulness of this dance!
For me, this life has been nothing short of amazing. The Lord has used my life in ways I could have never imagined. His wisdom and grace has lead me in directions I never thought I would, or could have gone. But one thing amazes me the most. The Lord sent this rhythmless man an invitation to the dance!
On a future day, I cannot wait to share a dance with each of you!