By: Pastor Lee Wells
We have been in the Birmingham/Talladega area of Alabama for a couple of weeks now. My wife and I are really enjoying the beauty of the mountains along with the trees, flowers and lakes. It’s just beautiful here at this time of year.
Right behind the church where we are parked, there is a great view of the mountains. You know, the kind of view people pay hundreds of dollars to see from a cabin or lodge window. The funny thing is, when we mention the beauty of this area to the locals they brush it off by saying, “That’s just the way it is here.”
As awe-inspiring as we find the beauty that surrounds us, those who have grown up here see it as ordinary and pedestrian.
Today my mind goes to those things I have grown up with in my life. The surroundings of my life, such as: The church services. The prayer meetings. The Saturday outreach efforts. The time spent at church camp and holiday youth convention. The Sunday School teachers. The Pastors we have been privileged to submit ourselves. The youth pastors. The nights spent in prayer. The days spent working and cleaning around the church. The precious moments spent teaching a Bible study. The wonderful feeling of allowing the Lord room to speak a conviction into your spirit. The times I have watched my parents weep in an altar.
All of these beautiful things could become, “just the way it was,” if I am not careful.
Then I am reminded of the stories my parents have related about their childhood. The stories of a father treated wrongly by his father, and the way he had to leave home at 15 just to make something of his life. Stories of a failed marriage, and a daughter who was taken from him and never allowed to be in his life. I am reminded of the tales of nights on dance-floors and mornings with hangovers.
I am reminded today, of the almost two-year search my mom and dad went on to find the truth about God and His promised help for whosoever thirsts. As they waded through the falsehoods, formalities, and word-games of the denominational leaders. Which led them nowhere. Then only to find out later that these ‘trusted men of God’ knew the correct answers to their questions all along, but would have jeopardized their positions if they spoke the truth of being baptized in Jesus name, or the true power of being filled with the Holy Ghost-evidenced with speaking in other tongues.
So today I am relishing the beauty of the life I get to live. I never want to lose the beauty of what I have been given just because I grew up in it. There have been many go before me that have suffered to be able to hand my generation an understanding of living in the beauty of holiness.
I refuse to lose the appreciation of what we have today. Contrary to popular belief, holiness is not ordinary nor pedestrian; it is a beautiful surrounding, and a gorgeous habitation that many would give their life to have if they could just see it for themselves.