Last Sunday a glorious thing happened! My dear friend was ordained as a Minister. I was so excited and blessed to be in the number to witness the public acknowledgement of such an enormous responsibility. I was adorned in a dance garment because I was to minister in dance. As I sat in the sanctuary considering that on more occasions that I could recall, “Flame of Fire” a dance and mime ministry, would entail five of us – one being that of Crystal Wright Banks. Our group was envisioned by my friend that was being ordained. We ministered on numerous occasions together, but the time we spent seeking God in preparation was unparalleled. We worshipped before we worshipped. My mind was a flurry. Only two were in attendance at the ordination, myself and Sister Swanda, two others were unable to minister and one, that being Crystal was hospitalized. I couldn’t help but to navigate quietly my juxtaposition of enthusiasm in God for one friend, and my disappointment in God for another. May I be honest? May I be transparent for a moment? I was happy and sad; hopeful and despondent, certain and perplexed. I tried to maintain a confident, “I know God’s got this” demeanor but my heart was aching. I like countless others expected God to show up in His miraculous form, healing in the way we envisioned and allowing us to witness His Hand yet again, defying man’s expectations and proving His authority. However, God chose a different path to my dear sister’s healing. Days later, we learned of her transition. Our hearts are broken. On one hand, our hearts are full for one person’s elevation in Christ, while deeply saddened by another person’s ascension to Christ. Shortly thereafter, another dear sister friend, Minister Nichole Corder messaged me to say, “My prayers are with you as you process the Sovereignty of God.” What powerful words as we navigate this seemingly imbalanced terrain.
I said “seemingly” because that is what our flesh would say – and to be true, we cannot dishonor the physicality of loss without naming it. Loss hurts. And so many are hurting from the departure of someone who was young, full of life, filled with love and an example of trusting God. How could God deny a pleasing ask? Enter the Sovereignty of God. Oh how I love the ministry of Daryl Coley. His song Sovereign takes me in, but when it comes to the application of such, I may need a little help. The words, “The Lord God is Sovereign, He can do whatever He wants to do. He can do whatever He wants to do, when He wants to. God can do whatever He wants to do, where He want to, how He wants to.” As believers, we can’t desire the sovereignty of God for some things and reject it for others. It’s a total package. We don’t get to cherry pick His sovereignty. I’ve expected the sovereignty of God for my friend who desired elevation in ministry. I wanted God to make it happen. And He did! I like others wanted my other friend to physically remain. I wanted God to make it happen. And He chose differently. Still God. But not imbalanced.
So before my friend transitioned, as I sat in the sanctuary, I began to ask God how do we make it? How did we make it to this day that God ordained for one friend’s calling to minister on earth and another whose ministry was being called to heaven? The Holy Spirit directed my attention to a banner that was hanging in the pulpit that read, “Worship.” I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, there’s your name in Worship. Surely I saw, SHP (Stephanie Helms Pickett). I’d never noticed that before. Then I heard the Holy Spirit say, “You make it through Worship.” So, there it was. So simple. So true. We navigate the sovereignty of God through Worship. Each of us must find ourselves in worship. We may not always like the outcome, and we can grieve the losses as well as glorify the gains, but it is imperative that we endure through our connectedness and tangibility of worship as our habitation, our reservoir, our dwelling place. The sovereignty of God is balanced. Unquestionably. Isaiah 45:4-9 affirms,
“I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
Rest in Him Sister Crystal. Press in Him Sister Karen. Move through Him Sister Nichole. Let there be worship! Let us find ourselves in it!
*I wrote this blog Saturday morning. With a heavy heart, I went to church Sunday and Pastor Sharon Dean preached on continuing to worship to make it through anything, but in particular, difficulty. Thank God for confirmation!*