Thursday, August 29, 2013

To Rachel With Honor

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you- Psalm 42:6 (MSG)

Not long after I accepted the chaplaincy position at the Mission I met a young woman who was spending time here while she secured housing. In the opening moments of our evening service I usually ask for requests for prayer. There is never a shortage of requests. The people we serve here never have a shortage of needs.

Deliverance from drugs or from alcohol, healing from abuse, comfort from the death of a loved one or divorce. The needs are staggering in scope. Food and shelter often lead the list. This particular evening I was receiving about what I was expecting and I was readying my spirit to agree in prayer for God's answers.

Then I called on Rachel.

"Pastor, I need a drum! Pray God gives me a drum!" A drum? Really? Rachel needed a home. She needed food. She needed a job. At that moment however, she saw her greatest need as the need to express worship to the One she called Savior. Rachel slept in a borrowed bed but her soul had furnished a room for God. 
We prayed for a drum.

Often since that night, when I inventory my particular needs: how I can better open the Word to people, how I can reach a heart that has been wounded into numbness and retreat, all the other personal life needs I have, I find myself praying for my own "drum". This teacher has become the pupil. Rachel shared her wisdom with me and it informs my days.

We have a need to worship and that need will always precede the blessing.

About ten days after we all agreed together that Rachel should have a drum, a lovely wooden frame drum with its taut goatskin head and ancient pedigree was placed in her waiting hands. It was the style of drum the women in Israel used to celebrate their many festivals. The kind of drum they sang into while they played. The drum had come home to Rachel who had made God her dwelling. 
Her other needs were met soon after by the Father who delighted in her. She stops in occasionally to let me know all is well and that she is still playing her drum. That delights the musician in me as well as the minister. I know God must love her enthusiastic gratitude.

I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16

Do you have a pressing need? I encourage you to pray Rachel's prayer. You may not have a desire for drum-worship but Rachel's prayer is a prayer of putting God first, setting Him above, satisfying Him. The rest will follow the music. 
Praise precedes the blessing.

John LaMantia
(featured in the September Rescue Mission Newsletter)

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully, I do not need a drum right now, but I always need to remember the One who makes music in my soul.

    blessings to you this Sunday morning.