Sunday, July 4, 2010

(In)Dependence Day!

Today, July 4, 2010, is the day the United States celebrates its Independence. This is a great holiday to enjoy with friends and family.

Well this one has been profound for me so far. I grew up in South Lake Tahoe from 1st grade until 6th grade. I grew to love this land very much--even though the years were very difficult for me. I grew up in an abusive home and things became very rough during this time. Ultimately I left Tahoe to live with my dad after he finally won a court case that granted him full custody.

Without going into all the details, it is always very therapeutic for me to come here to reflect on my life and where I came from. As you can see from the picture to the left, you can see I was a skinny kid that like his tube socks pulled high! Anna is going to recreate this picture later this week. Okay, on with the story.

The plan today was to visit Calvary Chapel South Lake Tahoe, but they moved locations since I visited 10 years ago. The new location was a couple miles away, but right across the street from where I went to elementary school. I didn't think much about this until we began to worship and my tears began to flow just thinking about the many bad instances that happened very close to the place where I was now worshiping...

I could barely sing the song "We Exalt Thee" as these two emotional trains where colliding in my heart. There I was trying to sing these words:

For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth

Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods

I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee

I exalt Thee, O Lord

I couldn't help but to cry as I thought about myself praising the Lord of heaven and earth a few hundred yards from the spot where Child Protected Services came to interview me. The situation was so bad back then, but God is so good nonetheless. As I tried to gain my composure, I realized that the next Bible text I am preaching on is Acts chapter verse hit me today during worship this morning:

He made from one man every nation of mankind

to live on all the face of the earth,

having determined their appointed times and the boundaries

of their habitation that they would seek God,

if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him,

though He is not far from each one of us;

for in Him we live and move and exist,

as even some of your own poets have said,

'For we also are His children.'

Acts 17:26-28

I am on vacation right now and having a difficult time explaining this, but I guess the bottom line is it struck me in a whole new way that God has always been working on me—even back then when life was kind of tough. I am grateful for those difficult times because they shaped me into the man that I am today.

On this Independence Day, I am so thankful that I am Dependant totally and completely on God. I am reminded that the difficulties I face presently will ultimately shape me into the person He desires me to be.

To God be the glory!

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