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Ode to Jesus Once More

Heard the voice of Jesus say Come unto me, I am the way. Keep your hand on the plow, hold on. When my way gets dark as night, I know the lord will be my light, Keep your hand on the plow, hold on.

“Hold On,” African American Spiritual (many Spirituals first sung by enslaved Africans in the United States)

I am 39 years old today, March 17th. (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!) As I embark on the final year of my 30s, I’m grateful for all God has revealed to me, drawn out of me, and the myriad ways He invites me to partner with Him in His kingdom’s unfolding. After circling the sun 39 times in awe of God’s vastness, holding down wisdom alongside deep humility continues to show the unique richness of worshipping Jesus. His ways and thoughts are bigger than mine indeed—as the heavens are above the Earth. This same God saved me from the cost of sin by His death and resurrection (and you too!), extending His limitless love and light into the world through all who call him Lord.

"I bring my raw emotion to the cross—and recommit to trust Him no matter what."

The wisdom-humility tension emboldens me. Regarding wisdom, I’m on a journey with my Savior—and in the words of MC Hammer’s song, I’m too legit to quit (Watch the official video, with cameos from James Brown and others. I grew up in the 90s—can’t help it!). I’m stunned by the opportunities He’s granted. Most recently, earning a PhD, becoming a professor, and seeing even more doors opening—and all of this centered in a faith increasingly on fire (You provide the fire and I’ll provide the sacrifice—fill me up, God…listen to “Fill Me Up,” starring Casey J). I reach for ever higher heights holding the Holy Spirit’s hand as I press, alongside like-minded others, to create the Beloved Community where all of humanity flourishes. May it be on Earth as it is in heaven! Eighteen-year-old Angie on the precipice of adulthood could not have envisioned this life—but God already saw it. He stands outside of the space-time continuum—He’s Alpha and Omega. Somehow in God’s economy, my decisions and God’s guidance align so I may participate in ushering in the beauty and bounty of his masterplan for this world. How humbling that my 5’7”, 140-pound vessel of flesh and blood can share in such awesome responsibility. What joy I feel to be loved, refined, and fueled by such a generous God!

Then there’s the humility side of the tension. In moments of deep discouragement, when desires and prayers feel heavy or unanswered—whether the slow walk of social justice or my desire to marry and have children (may the cup of pass from my lips at last!), I’m reminded how limited I am and thus how reliant I am on Jesus. Through prayer and worship (“Every Praise”, sung by Hezekiah Walker and choir, is my go-to!), I feel God ministering to my mind and heart: Angie, nothing can separate you from my love…lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths…walk by faith, not by sight…I am a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path…you are more than a conqueror! I bring my raw emotion to the cross and God meets me with comfort and a challenge to grow as his disciple as I take His yoke upon me—and recommit to trust Him no matter what. His response to me mirrors how he spoke to His disciples on a boat in the midst of the storm when He was asleep and the disciples feared they would drown: Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? (Mark 4:40).

I sing alleluia to the Holy Spirit for nurturing the Fruit of the Spirit within me, especially patience. God, I need more of that! As I keep running the race God sets before me, I will meditate on what I know in the marrow of my being about my rock, refuge, and salvation. Here it is: God is all loving, powerful, and knowing. He’s perfectly just and merciful. I am God’s daughter, fully adopted, and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. The Holy Spirit, my indwelling advocate, enables me to discern truth that can lead me into all wisdom, pushing me to manifest all that God has for-ordained for my life. Jesus intercedes on my behalf with the Father. While I now see into a mirror dimly, my mind is transformed day by day, and one day I will see God face to face and will live forever in eternity with Him. I’m heaven bound, so I’m earthly bold for my Lord, Savior, and Sustainer. That’s enough—and for that reason, praise shall continually be in my mouth this year—and always!

Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness Morning by morning new mercies I see All I have needed Thy hand hath provided Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

“Great is Thy Faithfulness,” performed by Austin Stone Worship, Live from TGC

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