Wednesday, October 7, 2009

He's Got Your Back!

"I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." -Psalms 16:8-11

My friends, Bruce Wethey and Lisa LaCrosse, are a unique couple. Bruce is a professional violinist and Lisa is a professional flautist. They met in Miami many years ago, while playing with the Miami Symphony. They are among some of the finest musicians in our country, having played in some of the best concert halls in the country (can you say Carnegie?), and having had a following as classical artists.

It's not often that you see folks in the classical field with the giftedness that Bruce and Lisa have to offer cross over to the Christian instrumental side of music. Actually, more often, Christian artists are sometimes guilty of crossing over to the secular side of music and leaving faith far behind them.

God had a different plan for these two, however, and they now travel as Christian instrumentalists, trading Carnegie Hall for local churches, and doing ministry. Bruce has played with folks like Twila Paris and Michael W. Smith, among others, but more often than not, you will see Bruce and Lisa traveling together across the country as a husband and wife team, as lead worshippers together with local church folks. They understand that their calling is to meet folks in ministry and to offer their gifts back to God. And they wouldn't have it any other way.

A little of their story...

Lisa has struggled with non-malignant brain tumors and has had several surgeries over the years to remove them. Yet, Lisa will be the first to tell you that when following Christ, there is a joy that sustains her!!! She trusts completely in the loving care that her Heavenly Daddy gives to her. She knows that even in the midst of pain, and the trials that come with her daily battles, she can trust Him to take care of her every need.

It was during the first of one such surgery that Bruce found himself face to face with the question of his own eternity, and he met with a pastor who befriended him during Lisa's hospital stay. That led to the beginning of his journey as a Christ follower. Lisa, on the other hand, had come to Christ as a teenager, while watching a Billy Graham crusade on television. She will quickly tell you that she was not discipled following that decision. And it wasn't until much later that she began to grow in her relationship with Christ.

I remember one particular time a few years ago when we were at our church in Virginia, and Lisa had had yet another surgery just a few weeks prior, and Bruce and Lisa came to Virginia, to minister to the senior adults* there. I was absolutely amazed that she was there!!! I asked her how in the world she managed to do that! She told me that her biggest issue at that time was exhaustion, but that the "Lord would provide her strength."

(* Quick funny story about that particular concert: I am a looooong way from being old enough to go to Senior Adult functions, but because Bruce and Lisa were friends, and because I had actually won a contest to name their latest album at that time, Offering, I begged our Senior Adult Pastor to allow my husband and me to crash the party.... He gladly gave in. When I got there, Bruce made sure to "card" me. :) That's the only time I think I have ever been "carded" at a church event. Smile.)

Often, I think we get discouraged when we hit some kind of a snag in our walk and we wonder if God is really there for us. And we do like Elijah did: we go and hide our own makeshift caves, and then start to get depressed because things may not necessarily be "peachy" for us. And we'll start to whine and moan and complain... But then, God comes around and asks, "What in the world are you doing in here?" And in that still small voice, He shows us Himself... (I Kings 19:12)

Whatever it is that you are facing, remember that God is in control. He loves you and He knows about every single thing that you are going through. And while there may be times that we may not understand what it is that He is trying to accomplish on this side of glory, we can know that His plans for us are perfect and His ways are true. And somehow, someway, He will use whatever those circumstances to benefit His kingdom and His glory.

Following Christ doesn't bring about the absence of trials and tribulations. But what I can tell you is that you can still find joy in knowing that your loving Heavenly Daddy has your back.

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