My Good Friday/The Joy of Obedience

I don’t feel like it, I thought.

Besides I no longer have the mike my friend, Julie, let me use before since she lent it to someone else and couldn’t get it back in time. How would I be heard out there with the noise from the wind, the traffic, and the chatter of the tourists?

I charged my amplifier and looked through my bag and found an old microphone. I plugged it in to the amp, and it sounded clear–even better than the other mike with the tiny amplifier box I wore on my waist. I didn’t have a stand for this one, so how would I hold it in my hand if I wanted to play the guitar?

The questions which mattered weren’t, Do I feel like going? or Are there too many obstacles in the way?

The most important question popped into my mind: Did God want me to go?

I sensed He did.

This was the open door since I had to work 12-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday.

Recently a song I heard on the radio touched my heart. I printed out the chords and decided I will sing this song to the people.

Then this thought came as I got ready for my outing to the beach. If I turn on the JOYFM, and this special song comes over the airways, it will be a confirmation from the Lord. I didn’t expect it, but I thought it would be nice.

I heard the last several words of the song as I tuned in on my IPAD, and then the DJ announced, “You just heard ‘What A Beautiful Name It Is,’ by Hillsong–my song.

Thank You, Lord, I said and continued to prepare for my adventure.

Last time I went to Clearwater Beach to sing during Easter week, I rode my bike and brought a small travel guitar to avoid traffic and the search for a parking space.

This time I’ll take either the ferry or the free bus ride, which I saw offered days before.

I drove to downtown Clearwater and parked my car in the free lot near the water. I saw people at the bus stop and decided on free transportation. I waited for the bus for 20 minutes and the it took 20 minutes to get there (on a less crowded day it would take 5 minutes), but I enjoyed the beautiful weather and pretty scenery while I waited and while I rode.

The bus dropped us off right in the midst of the crowds, and I walked the short distance to my usual spot.

I started out playing the amplified guitar and sang as loudly as I could. One of my first songs was the chorus of “What A Beautiful Name It Is.”  After a while I set the guitar aside and sang with the microphone and no music. It felt easy since I knew most of the songs well.  I shared these selections and more: “Just A Closer Walk with Thee,” “”There’s Just Something About That Name,” and “Jesus Paid It All.”

I had tracts to pass out in a hat, and almost immediately people put money in the hat. Other times I played, I wanted tips as an affirmation, but received none. As I sang more and more people gave a tip. (I hoped it wasn’t because they thought me a poor homeless lady who couldn’t sing whom they felt sorry for.) Still, I felt encouraged.

I turned the knobs on the amp to get some different effects ie reverb. The quality of this mike with this amp proved to be superior to my last mike, and it didn’t entail the repeated readjustment I had to do with the other.

I enjoyed the sunshine, breeze, and happy people who walked by. I prayed people would recognize songs or be caught by phrases and the name of Jesus want to know or return to Him.

As I continued to sing, I realized fear of the people no longer plagued me as it did in the past. I closed my eyes for short periods of time and worshipped before the Lord and felt so close to Him.

“God, did you call me out here for them or for me?” I asked.

I sensed the answer: “Both.”

One heckler shouted from a passing car. I waved and blew him a kiss. I said “God bless you” to those who gave tips, to others who smiled or gave a thumbs up, and to people who seemed upset in conversation as they walked by.

As I sang I felt overwhelmingly grateful for all Jesus did for me by His death on the cross.

As time passed, I looked at my watch and saw it was near 3pm–the hour the Bible said Jesus died. I said a thank you, Jesus in my heart and sang songs about the cross: “At The Cross,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” and “Nothing But the Blood.” Joy overflowed in my heart. I celebrated the beautiful life the Lord lavished on me–despite traumas and trials I faced.

As I obeyed God’s command to “go out into all the world,” (Clearwater Beach certainly had visitors from around the world,) this came to mind: the joy of obedience. God wanted me right there at that moment, and I obeyed instead of giving in to my excuses and dedication to my petty agenda for the day. I thought of Jesus’ obedience on the cross and how mine seemed small compared to His. This thought occurred to me as well: His obedience brought me joy, but my obedience can bring joy to others.

After I sang for two hours, I sensed it’s time to go.

I crossed the street to the bus stop and talked to a man about the Lord after he asked about my singing while we waited for the bus.

The ride back proved pleasant and passed quickly as I talked to a sweet elderly lady from New Hampshire.

I plan to go back to Clearwater Beach to share songs and words of encouragement. When? Whenever the Lord calls me to do it. I long to experience once again the blessings and joy of obedience and bask in the knowledge that when I do what God asks me to do, He is pleased with me. After all, when I’m in my right mind, that’s my highest goal–to please Him.

“What A Beautiful Name It Is” by Hillsong

About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
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