Let faith lead to the first steps, let the Lord do the rest

By Debra Whittington

eek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 1 Chronicles 16:11-12
Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. Psalm 40:5   

The Israelites went through many experiences during their trek through the wilderness. It was a time of hardship, but also a time of experiencing first-hand the mighty hand of God.

In the wilderness they were fed manna and quail and received all the water they needed to sustain them. Their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out. I can’t even begin imagining wearing the same clothes and shoes for 40 years.

When it came time for the people to finally cross the Jordan River, they had another obstacle. The Jordan River was flooding at the time and it seemed impossible for the people to get to the other side. However, as the Lord took care of them so many times before, He did once again. Taking a literal step of faith, the priests stepped into the water and the waters suddenly and miraculously stopped flowing.

Joshua took 12 stones and built a memorial to commemorate what the Lord did for the people. It stood as a reminder of the mighty power of the Lord. Throughout the Bible, altars or memorials were built to commemorate God’s provision for His people.

Now, I don’t have a stone memorial in my front yard. Instead my memorial is in the form of newspaper columns and feature articles appearing in the Quay County Sun for the past 16 years. My writing career is like the floodwaters of the Jordan River. It started by taking a step of faith and watching the Lord do the rest.

  This year I decided to take 366 of those columns and compile them into a devotion-a- day book. This project will probably take at least a year to complete as I wade through all of the devotional columns during the past 13 years. The process gives me a chance to look back at what the Lord did in my life through the good times and the bad times. Many times I felt like the Israelites, wandering around in the wilderness.

Today, I want to take the readers on a little trip down memory lane to share how the church lady came to be through the leading of the Lord. It is only through the Lord working through me that I am able to write.

All my life I dreamed of being a writer. I also had a strong interest in history, especially local history. These two interests merged when I was given the privilege of writing “Looking Back” for the Quay County Sun. This led to other feature stories on the history of the area.

Early in January 1994, I was sitting in church listening to a sermon when I heard a voice telling me to write a religious column. It wasn’t an audible voice, but the message was strong and clear. I approached the editor at the time and was given the go-ahead to write a column as a collection of bits and pieces of news, coming events, and viewpoints on the religious community.

On Jan. 22, 1994, “Notes from the Church Lady” made its first appearance in the Quay County Sun. I was nicknamed “the church lady” by the sports editor at the time. He liked to tease me, but I considered it an honor and the name stuck.
Over the years I watched the Lord do an amazing work. Some of the columns seemed like someone else wrote them. As fast as I could type, the words flowed onto the computer screen. Other columns were written after much prayer when I cried out to the Lord to help me as I was facing a blank computer screen and a deadline in a matter of hours.

Someone once asked me how I could share so much of my personal life with readers I don’t even know. I do it because if the experiences I share can help even one person then it is well worth it. I am doing this for the glory of God and as a ministry.

  I am unsure how long I will continue to write this column, but as long as I do I hope it will inspire, challenge, and help others. I know it is a tremendous blessing in my life and I am thankful for the opportunity to be used as a vessel for the Lord.