This morning I woke up with a sigh as I thought about our busy day ahead. Preaching at a church we have never been to before (is our message going to be OK? how will our kids be at yet another church/new sunday school?)… then a family BBQ with Eric’s relatives right after church… followed by a BBQ/Fourth of July fireworks party at friends near the beach. (How will the kids/especially Ian do with no down time?) I had a few minutes before I had to get the last two children up, so I decided to have a quiet time while eating breakfast.
There was an old hymn written in the section of my bible study book that I hadn’t sung in a long time: “I love to tell the story…” And the words just gripped my heart. I realized what a double privilege it is we have: 1) to have a paid JOB to tell people about “Jesus and his power; and Jesus and his love…” and 2) that it’s also part of our job to get to tell people here about the realities and joys of telling people in Japan. And in sharing that story we can (hopefully) get people fired up about Jesus and telling His story.
I copied the first verse of the hymn into the front of my Bible. I knew that God was using it today to remind me of the privilege of our job… even if we were nervous about sharing at a new church– wow! We are getting to do something I am truly excited about — telling that story. Part of me wondered if I should weave this hymn into our message.
We got to the church… got three out of four kids happily settled into sunday school (ok- so one crying child out of four isn’t bad)…I went up to the front of the church to join Eric… and opened the church bulletin. The hymn we were singing before we were to speak? Yes – I Love to Tell the Story… The tears started rolling, as I thought about the sweetness of our Lord. A hymn I haven’t sung or thought about in a long time… and God brings up twice in two hours on the same morning. Makes me even more want to tell that story….We LOVED this church; we both loved sharing so much. We loved telling that story. (And the kids thankfully did fine all the way through eleven o’clock tonight). Here are the first and last verses.
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love;
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true,
It satisfies my longings as nothing else would do.
I love to tell the story,
’Twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest;
And when in scenes of glory I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.