Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 8, 2015

October 8, 2015 “The Restless Heart”

“But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1)

 

Good Morning My Friends!

It was a cool October night forty-seven years ago this very day. I was a sophomore student at Grove City College in western Pennsylvania, just returning from a screening of a Christian film called “The Restless Ones.” The film had an ironically apt title for what was going on in my own heart at the time. The year before, I enrolled as a music major at the college, but shortly thereafter, I knew in my heart that this would not be the career course I would ultimately pursue. I had switched majors from music to philosophy…even more confused than ever. What in the world would I ever do career-wise with a degree in philosophy, I wondered. Yet in my heart, I somehow understood that this was the course of study I was to pursue. It was on that October night, forty years ago, that I came to know in my restless heart the wherefore and the why of that decision. As I stood in the quad area of the college, God quite unequivocally spoke to my heart and I knew beyond doubt there and then that he was calling me into full-time Christian ministry. No, I did not hear him audibly say this, yet I knew with a certainty I had never before experienced that this is what he was directing me to pursue.

Were there ever times of doubt? Most certainly! Like those prophets of old, I was full of questions and doubts concerning my own particular qualifications to undertake such an awesome responsibility. I did not possess particular eloquence. I was certainly no “saint” in the way I lived my life. I wasn’t even sure what particular directions such ministry would take me. Now, forty-seven years later, I look back on a career in which I have served eighteen different churches in some ministerial capacity, afforded the opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel with thousands of people in states all across the country, and still marvel that the Lord would choose to use such an unworthy vessel for such a sacred purpose. These words of the Lord from Isaiah still clearly speak to my restless heart:  “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”  The words of one of the songs in that movie I saw that October night still linger in my thoughts this day:

Til by faith I met Him face to face
And I felt the wonder of His grace
Then I knew that He was more
Than just a God who didn’t care
That lived away out there
And now He walks beside me day by day
Ever watching o’er me lest I stray
Helping me to find that narrow way
He’s ev’rything to me
He’s everything to me…Let’s pray!
Gracious, glorious Lord; It is with great humility that I come to you this morning, marveling still that you would call the likes of me to such an amazing task. You called me by name, and I am yours. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the matchless privilege that was afforded to me. May I always continue to serve at Your good pleasure. Amen!

 

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