We were singing it last night during choir practice, getting ready for Sunday morning’s worship.
“It’s Not Over, It’s Not Finished,
It’s Not Ending, It’s Only The Beginning
When God Is In It, all things are new . . .”
In fact, stop reading just long enough to listen to it for yourself. If your eyes aren’t a little misty and your heart’s broken spots a little less jagged, then just pass this post on to someone you know who might be encouraged by it.
Last night I was focused on the mechanics of the piece, reading the music and intent on making “It’s Not Over” sound like the powerful soul-stimulus it is.
This morning I woke up with the lyrics running through my spirit, and suddenly I felt their truth wash over my bruised soul like the warm surf off the North Carolina shore. I needed this message, almost as if the writers had me in mind when God gave them the words, the message.
I refuse to cower for very long before the bluster and bullying of how things seem. Things have seemed bleak before, with the only seemingly possible choices between slim to are-you-kidding-me.
Then God rolled up His sleeve and gave me a little glimpse of what He can do.
Another old lyric came to mind as I was musing over these thoughts.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance; when our strength has failed e’er the day is half done; when we reach the end of our hoarded resources, our Father’s full giving has only begun!
Before April – May of ’97, those were just nice lyrics, and we’d sung them often.
Now? It struck me just this morning as God showered me with their true meaning: now I live those lyrics every day. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Nutrition Deficit tag-team me every fresh 24. If I had a ‘Settings’ app, its default would be “0” the minute I get up.
Okay. That’s my now. It’s up to me to decide how I want to handle it, how I choose to go forward.
Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
Scanning the empty, dry desert all around, one buzzard said to another, “Patience, nothin’. I’m gonna go kill something!”
Ephesians 3:20-21 reads, “God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
Considering this potent combo of lyrics new and old, and timeless encouragement from the Word, here’s today’s mission.
Nobody likes a whiner. Even if you’ve reason to be tempted to complain, no one wants to hear it, other than as framing for how you got beyond the reasons for the complaining. Very few are patient enough to sit and listen to very much doom, despair and agony.
On the other hand, everybody loves success stories, and everyone – EVERYONE – loves an encourager.
So, therefore – always find something good and positive that somebody else is doing and being and encourage them in it.
Even do that if it’s yourself. Especially if it’s yourself.
You think this just happens, right? I dream all this up on my own? Let me share what a trusted confidante just sent me this morning. . .
“Never lose sight of the fact that you are loved and appreciated. It is easy to mentally slip into a place where you are alone and discouraged. If you are overwhelmed by life and circumstances, it is always good to relax…take a deep breath. No one is going to eat you.
“Think of the good things you have done, the people who are closest to you, the victories you have experienced, and the bright future that awaits you. Things could always be MUCH worse. Sometimes, you just need a good night’s rest and things will look better in the morning.
“One thing that you can do to pick yourself up is to find someone else who needs to be picked up and give them words of encouragement. You will feel better knowing that you have made someone else feel better. You can also walk up to a mirror and smile at yourself. Giving yourself a good smile is reassuring and so are the positive thoughts you can muster as you see yourself smiling. Keeping yourself up and encouraged is a very doable task. No one knows how to push your buttons like you.”
Me? Oh, I’m going to go fix a leaky dishwasher. Then I’ll come back and get on with what I most love – writing things that make you go, “Hmm”, and maybe–just maybe–draw you away from whatever’s trying to push you down and keep you there.
It’s not over. It’s not finished. It’s not ending, it’s only the beginning. . .
When you put God in the equation, all bets are off and you won’t believe what He can do.
I’m walking proof of it. And this is just the beginning . . .
I love you and I believe in you.
© D. Dean Boone, October 2015