Last Tuesday, Stacey Kuszak, shared these thoughts with us.
If some of you are like me, you probably can’t remember what you ate for breakfast this morning or what you wore to church last week. But today I’m going to ask you to think back . . . beyond breakfast . . . beyond last week . . . to twelve years ago.
Don’t remember? Now, let me ask you one more question. What were you doing on September 11, 2001?
Suddenly we all know exactly what we were doing on 9-11, don’t we? Believe it or not, I was on my way here—to my very first Tuesday morning MUMs. As I drove to church that morning, news came over the radio of the first plane hitting the tower. Nobody at that point knew the full scope of what was happening.
Once here, I remember someone rolling in a TV and turning on the news so we could all see what was happening. Then Pastor Clark came in and talked with us. He read out of the Psalms. I remember thinking, I’m so thankful I’m right here, hearing God’s truth.
God showed up that day. He met us there in that frightening, uncertain place. He showed up in the pages of scripture, telling us that He was, and still is, on His throne. He showed up through the prayer of women as we collectively bowed our heads and asked for his comfort and help. As I left bible study that day, walking back into an uncertain world, I knew my God was certain. As the tragedy of that day unfolded over the course of weeks, I was drawn back, over and over, to the Psalms and to the truth we learned that Tuesday morning.
A lot has changed on Tuesday mornings since that day 12 years ago. The classes have changed, friends have come and gone, worship styles have changed, the location has changed, and even the name of our group has changed. Yet one thing has never changed. God always shows up.
When my kids were little the hardest part of getting here on Tuesdays was leaving the house and getting everyone and everything into the car. It seemed like I was always a frantic mess by the time I got to church.
I learned early on in my MUMs years the importance of worship time. I was taught to view worship as a time of switching the focus from me to God, almost like taking a mirror that is turned toward me and turning it the other way. God meets us here in worship. He quiets us with His presence. He invites us to leave the busyness of our lives at his feet and to just settle down.
I always left Tuesday mornings a lot calmer than when I came. I left with a satisfied, full feeling. (And no, it wasn’t from all the delicious food the MUMs bring.) That full feeling came as a result of feeding on God’s word. My soul had been fed. God met me exactly where I was. God showed up. I may have appeared the same when I left as I did when I came—with kids in tow, lugging armfuls of stuff to the car. But my soul was changed because it had been with God.
As comforting as this is to know that God always shows up, it’s also true that sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I physically didn’t show up because of sick kids or scheduling conflicts, but there were other times when I was here, in person, but my soul wasn’t.
I think it’s fair to say we all come from time to time with preoccupations, worries, or a heavy heart. But one of the things I cherish most about Tuesday mornings is that even on those days when my mind and heart were far from God, He still showed up.
Have you ever received a word through teaching that you felt was made only for you? That was God showing up. Have you had a serendipitous meeting in the hall with someone passing by, with just the words you needed to hear? That was God showing up. Have you had one of your sisters in Christ pray for you in such a way you could feel the peace of Jesus flood your heart? That was God showing up.
Twelve years ago, on a day our country will never forget, God met me here. He has been faithful in the years since to equip me with His word and encourage me to take more steps of faith. Where will you be at the end of this next twelve years? We can ponder that question, but there is really no way to know. I hope many of us are still here—in this community.
One thing is certain.
God will be here.
He always shows up.