27 Mar God's been good to me
The Salt N Light Pee Dee mission is a different experience every time. Yes, its different in the sense of the work that you do. One year you could be in the shade cleaning scum off of an old trailer, the next year you could be playing inside with kids, and the next year you could be on a hot roof laying down tar paper and new shingles. But beyond the actual work, I always discover something new that I hadn’t known before.
This last week in Pee Dee was an especially challenging one for all of us. For some of us it was challenging physically in temperatures of 103 degrees with 116% humidity (there’s a fun fact…who knew it could go over 100%?!). For others, it was challenging emotionally as we worked alongside and loved brothers and sisters who live in houses with holes in the ceiling or floor, or sleep in houses overtaken by critters where the water doesn’t run. And for others of us it was challenging spiritually, as we struggled to find the face of Jesus amongst unjust and difficult circumstances. But amidst all of these things, I was challenged most of all by the people, who in the midst of every trial they face, demonstrate a faithfulness to God beyond anything I have ever witnessed.
I will never forget this one moment, sitting in our Thursday Night church service after we had all shared about our weeks. This man from the church named Richard, who plays the pi-ana (that’s how they say it down there 🙂 better than anyone I’ve heard, got up on the microphone and said, “Me and Miss Diane are going to sing this song. I’m sorry if it’s kind of repetitive…but it’s true.” And he began to play and then to sing. And at first I tried to sing, but then found that I
was so overcome by the simple words that I couldn’t sing anymore. I couldn’t help listening in awe as every one of our South Carolinian friends sang together: “God’s been good to me…God’s been good to me. He’s given me my family, He’s given me my friends, He’s given me my home…God’s been good to me. God’s been good to me.”
And when I heard those words, those words of pure joy and pure thankfulness in the middle of all of the pain and hurt and joy and sorrow I’d experienced that week, I was severely challenged. Because I think about how often I sit and complain to God that such and such a thing hasn’t worked out or how he should have addressed something better. I sit there and complain in my air conditioned home with running water and clean sheets and a safe street where crime is hardly ever an issue. And I question God’s faithfulness. But these friends we made in South Carolina proclaim their assuredness of God’s faithfulness like it is the most natural thing in the world. They sang those words with such passion. And It was one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Not because it was crafty, or postmodern, or incorporated special musical interludes or complex vocal arrangements. It was beautiful because it was real. When our friends sang those words, they meant them, they believed them. The words weren’t just lip service coming from the brain, they were words straight from the deepest part of the soul, from the loneliest pit of the heart. It was a song of lives so enveloped in Christ, they couldn’t help but singing of his goodness and his love. And that’s something I think we can all strive toward: such deep communion with Christ our savior that our love for him comes before all else, including our own circumstances. I am so thankful for that song, and I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters in SC for teaching us something we should’ve understood a long time ago:
God’s been good to me.
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