Devotional – The Red Balloon

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

What an awesome day. I am continually impressed with God’s ability to mold me and shape me into a better version of myself. Closer to His own image. Transforming me little by little, or sometimes (like today) suddenly in a big chunk.

I am a perfectionist by nature. My own worst critic, I have a tendency to never allow myself a passing grade. I realize God has gifted me in many ways, but my first instinct is usually to find fault with just about everything. No matter what my success, I’m always following it up with a list of ways I could have done better. This is an area the Lord has been working on with me for several years. Slowly changing my heart to allow for the things in life I cannot change, nor can I control. Do you know how God “fixes” a control-freak-perfectionist? He gives you things utterly completely and entirely beyond your ability to handle or even manage. And you know what, it works really well.

While I’m sure this will be an issue I’ll continually be turning over to Jesus, in the past 6 months or so I think I’ve (finally) started trusting the Lord enough to let go of my desire for absolute excellence. I still want to do things well, but I’m much more forgiving of myself and others now. I realize that because God works through people, He uses imperfection every single day. And He does amazing things with all that baggage. Mine included.

This week, the Lord has been daily preparing me in my quiet time for the lesson He drove home today. Everyday this week I was reminded to trust God. That anything I accomplish in life is through His strength, not my own. How He is with me, regardless of how it seems. That circumstances should not avert my focus from the truth that God has everything under control, working for His glory. Then today, in my first Sunday learning how to produce our services, He checked to see if I’d been listening to Him.

We have two projectors at church. One displays the worship songs at the front of the auditorium so the congregation can see them. The other displays the same image on the back wall for the musicians. About an hour prior to service today, the month old (supposed to last a couple years) bulb on the front machine blew. Kaput. No light. No projection. And, since the bulbs are incredibly expensive and usually die slowly so we have lots of notice to get a new one…we have no replacement fixture. Our ceilings are about 30 feet tall, the projector is mounted at the top, and the only way up to them is to build a scaffolding (stored in pieces down a hallway). So, what’s a producer-in-training decked out in 4-inch fabulous gladiator heels to do? Why, start hauling rusted metal scaffolding pieces and pray like crazy that God knows what He’s doing.

It is absolutely astonishing what the Lord can accomplish! The entire team of people in the building started erecting that scaffold. Our fantastic sound tech remembered that the old bulb was still around somewhere…hopefully not completely dead. The three-story scaffolding got set up in record time. Several guys climbed up and replaced the light – then we all prayed as the machine rebooted and BEHOLD – light!!

red balloon

Then, as if God wanted to make sure I’d heard Him, someone (not me) suggested wheeling the intact platform to the other side of the room to get down a red balloon that was floating in the rafters. A balloon that had been bugging me since I walked into the sanctuary that morning. A distracting balloon I’d prayed about, knowing there was no way to reach it, that it would bother other people too, but that there was no. way. to. reach. it. I mean, obviously we weren’t going to whip out the scaffolding to get down a balloon, right?  You think I’m making this up, but I’m not. Balloon down, 10 minutes before service started, this awesome team of people serving God tore down the platform, stored it away down the hall, moved the chairs back into place and began the service right on time.

The truly remarkable part of the morning’s events was the utter peace I felt. Even as the minutes ticked away towards the start of church, I knew that God had it under control. It didn’t matter to me that my eyes saw bars and bolts everywhere, that the chairs were pushed back and half the worship team was three stories high with a screwdriver and light bulb. It was all just circumstances, and somehow for me, it did not change what the Lord had taught me all week. To trust Him. What’s great is that I know even more now just how faithful God is. He’s transforming me daily. He’s showing me that believing His word, that His strength is mine, gives me the liberty and freedom to expect amazing things. I can even trust Him for silly things, like getting down a red balloon.

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