God is able to do far more than we possibly can think or imagine.
We quote those words, but I’m here to tell you. They really are true. God can partner with us to help us do far more than we ever think is possible.
Our little congregation has been privileged to spend the last four nights listening to the fantastic men’s singing group, the Preacher’s Quartet. Each evening, a different Sunday School class has worked together to provide the guys and their pianist supper. As the local preacher’s wife, I get to attend all the functions with this wonderful group of people. Last night, Freida, I and three other women sat around a table, sharing just how we have seen God’s power do above and beyond what we thought was possible.
Freida is stone deaf in one ear and has only 20% hearing in the other. She’s the pianist of this group, remember? There were times the song leader would start singing a song and Freida would join him IN THE RIGHT KEY! (Sorry to shout . . . well, sort of!) It was amazing. I’m a pianist too and I couldn’t do that with normal hearing. I’ve only heard one other pianist do that – the one who plays for the Christian artist, Steve Green. Freida quickly and humbly told us, “It’s a God thing.” It has to be.
I told of how when I started playing the piano, I would get excruciating headaches from leaning over to see my music. My grandfather built a special rack that fit only my piano and brought the music up and out so I could see it more comfortably. A man at our church couldn’t sing a tune in a bucket but he loved music. When he saw me holding my head in pain after playing for church services one Sunday, he asked how I managed at home. After hearing about my special rack, Doug built me a rack for the church piano, a beautiful rack that would rival any fine piece of furniture. As Freida said, “Only in the family of God would that kind of thing happen.” Like Freida, I know I should not be able to do half of what I do because of my visual loss. It’s a God thing.
Then it was Jane’s turn. A year ago, right before her 78th birthday, Jane suffered a stroke. Then, just as she was getting on the mend, she wanted to step out and enjoy the warm spring air. She opened her screen door and a gust of wind, yanked the door and her with it, dumping her body in the middle of her yard and dislocating her shoulder. Jane has taught the first and second graders at our church since Moses was a pup. She chafed at having to wait to get back to her class. One of the men built an extra banister on the stairway leading to the children’s department so Jane could get down there. I offered to help her the first couple of weeks back, to be her hands and legs, but she didn’t need me! Expert teacher that she was, Jane had her students tacking visuals to the bulletin board. Jane makes it no secret that she is able to keep teaching those children through and only through the power of God.
Audrey knew the power of God as well. Certain situations required her to care for four grandchildren throughout the summer. A week into the summer, Audrey fell while watching her grandchildren at the park. She told us the sensation of falling was like God slipping a pillow under her. She wasn’t hurt at all even though she should have been. “It was a wake-up call,” she told us. That fall gave her the confidence she needed to be grandma to those four kids all summer and direct our church’s VBS. Only God could have given her the strength and energy she needed to make it through that hectic summer.
I have a new appreciation for the verse Freida shared with us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:8,9).
You think you can’t pray out loud? You think you can’t talk to someone about Jesus? You hesitate to teach a Sunday School class? How powerful is your God? You might not be able to or you might lack the skills. But God can and He will enable you to grow, change and develop the skills you need.
As I’m writing this, my phone rang. I’m providing lunch for the Preacher’s Quartet. But, because of my vision, I don’t drive and I haven’t been able to get to the store because my husband has been too busy to take me. I’m having to provide a “what I have on hand” kind of lunch but I didn’t quite have enough – I needed one more fruit or vegetable dish of some kind. So who was on the phone? A church member, asking me if I could use tomatoes for my lunch.
It was another God thing.