Dear God, Please give me a sign. Dear Crystal, Here you go.
Dear God, Please give me another sign. Dear Crystal, I love you, here it is.
Dear God, Is this really the sign. Dear Crystal, Yes it is.
Dear God, This isn’t the answer I wanted. Dear Crystal, I know.
Dear God, Why? Dear Crystal, Because I want you to walk with me.
Dear God, Okay, but I don’t understand. Dear Crystal, I know, but I do.
She sat at the piano tapping the keys back and forth. She could hear the minor notes, and the dissonance of the sound seemed to ease her mind. As she began to be engulfed in the music, the problems which surrounded her mind faded away for a moment. This was the one place where she could simply be exactly who she was with no questions asked. Words began to rise in her heart as she filled the notes with a message. “You’re here in this place. So I’ll lift up my voice.” She struck the E chord, as her fingers slid down the scale and she ended to go into F#m, “In praise I worship you.” She hit the A chord and then fell down to D. “In praise I honor you. In praise I fall on my knees. In praise I lift up my hands.” The room was silent. No applause. No tears. No shocked faces. No one in the room. She sat silently and thought about the future. She thought about all the dreams God had placed into her life. She thought about all the people she would one day encounter and help. Was it so much to let this one dream slip away? In a soft small voice she sang in surrender, “I adore you. I adore you.” And that was the last chapter of the first evening of the death of her dream.
Sometimes we are required to give up a dream to achieve another dream. At first it is hard to even imagine we can endure this process. To give up things buried deep within our heart is an incredible task. It often feels impossible. The responsibility however of moving forward in life begs for us to process the past and then move forward. Paul said in Philippians 3:14, he pressed on toward the goal. He forgot the things behind him, and pushed ahead for the things to come. I do not believe his past left his mind and behavior, but it was more about focusing on how he was going to move forward knowing his past was not controlling him. How is it we so often forget about the wonderful plans God has for us because we are living in the past? We have the liberty and freedom in Christ through the Holy Spirit! (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Life teaches us lessons. As we walk through struggles and hard times, character is built. The core of our foundation is grounded strong. I have often heard people proclaim as they point their finger to the sky in confidence, “I am who I am, because of the things I went through.” This may be true, but unfortunately there are some people who do not make it through the hard times. There are some people who are unwilling or maybe even unable to process their past hurts, feelings, and experiences. How do we help these people? How do we bring the strength and hope of God back into their visible sight? When they feel alone and are walking through valleys with shadows of fear and doubt, how do we wrap our arms around them and be present with them in their pain and suffering?
I have watched many people walk away from God. One reason was because they did not understand why things were happening in their life. I have watched single women get pregnant and walk away. I have watched heroin addicts shake with tremors as their body longs for another high. I have seen marriages crumble because of divorce, idolatry, and affairs. I have seen young adults walk away to parties and a life of drunkenness, because they were deceived into believing these things could fill the emptiness. I have watched saints on the pew come year after year only to have a traumatic experience carry them out the back door and never return. I’ve seen much devastation, and I always think to myself how will they make it without God? How can anyone live a day without feeling the mighty presence of comfort and joy in a world which often shuts out all joy and peace? How can we survive without God?
There comes a breaking point. We must decide which dream to follow. Recently, I began to dream a dream which was way out in the left field. I knew while I was dreaming the dream it was impossible. It was not the right time. I kept asking God for signs, and God kept giving them. Unfortunately, I did not want to see the signs and the truth. For some reason, I put all logic aside and decided to keep pursuing the dream. I had invested a lot of time in thinking about this dream, and it had grown a pretty deep root in my heart. However, last week God began to speak softly to me. As my mentor spoke about revival, God began to challenge me. I felt a burden in my heart rekindle. I felt a charge, a commissioning, and a call to come back to a place where I once spent many hours. I realized I had been running after a dream that wasn’t running after me. I had desperately forgot about a dream God had placed within me many years ago. Why was I running? Why was I running away from the dream and dare I say…God?
Even now tears fall down my face as I think about how we must decide which dream to follow. We can either live a life that follows a dream away from God, or we can live a life which moves toward God. My hope is somewhere inside of this message, this writing, this confession; that you have allowed the Spirit to speak to you. My hope is if you are away from Christ, you come back, because arms are wide open (and I want to give you a hug too). If you do not know Christ, I plead with you to seek Jesus Christ. Jesus will be found. My prayer is we will all desperately follow after Jesus Christ. Christ is our only solid. My prayer is we can be the body of Christ today and truly be present for those around and near us. The struggles and hard time will come, but we can and will endure. As I sit here thinking about the conversations I have with God, and how God speaks, I am amazed by the love and never ending ability god has to bring hope and peace into my life. Although I do not always understand why things happen, or why God gives the answer I want to reject, I trust. And so I strike the piano keys again, and sing “You’re here in this place. So I’ll lift up my voice. In praise I worship you. In praise I honor you. In praise I fall on my knees. In praise I lift up my hands. I adore you. I adore you. I adore you. I adore you.”
Copyright 2012-2016 Crystal Schmalz Ministries