Sunday, April 3, 2011

At The End Of The Day

This is me with my gospel music hero, Guy Penrod. It was such a thrill to meet him.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely love Guy Penrod, former lead singer for the Gaither Vocal Band. His voice is so strong and filled with emotion as he sings. Whether it is a foot-stomping hymn or a soulful ballad, no one caresses the words of a song the way Guy Penrod does. His voice has carried me through many difficult times and his rendition of the song, "Knowing You'll Be There", has comforted me at the loss of loved ones. He is a truly gifted singer.

I was privileged to meet him in person last year. He had just released his new CD, "Breathe Deep", and was doing a concert at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. I gladly made the three hour trip from my home in North Carolina to hear him sing. It was a dream come true for me. Not only did I get to hear that marvelous voice, but I had an opportunity to meet his wife, his beautiful little girl, and several of his seven sons. His wife, Angie, arranged for me to have a few moments to chat with my "hero". As I looked into the face of a man I admired and respected, I felt the anointing of our great God. I told Guy how his music had sustained me through some very dark and difficult times. I also told him how his down-to-earth attitude had touched my heart and encouraged me to keep looking to the Lord for comfort and direction. Guy is so very humble about all of this. His reply to me was simply, "Praise God. I am just glad to be able to be a blessing to you and to others.".

I love this photo---it says it all about a man's walk with God.

Upon returning home, I decided to check out Guy's website. In the section, About Me,
I found a statement he made that just hit me with a big reality check. He said this, "I live in the country on a farm in a log house and drive a tractor and a Ford F-350...those listening to my music may live in Manhattan in a high rise and go to work in a limo. But, at the end of the day, life is life, and we all have joys and heartaches.".

I pondered that comment for several days. I had never really thought of life from that perspective. When you think of people who are wealthy enough to go to work in a limo or live in a million dollar home, you just don't often think of them as having difficulties. The affluence and worldly successes sort of blur the visions we have of the lives of such people but, indeed, life is life. Sorrow finds its way to all of us in one form or another. Those who face it without the Lord will find the path more difficult to follow. Money, fame, and power will give little comfort when life gets rough.

I don't know how people make it without the Lord. Where do they go? Who do they turn to? The old, old hymn says, "Where could I go but to the Lord?". At the slightest disturbance in my daily life, I find myself running to my Lord for shelter, for comfort, for protection. Oh, how dim and lonely life would be without the Lord. How dismal the future would appear! With Him, though, I have hope for a brighter tomorrow. With Jesus, I have faith that, should sorrow find its way to me, I would be held securely in His everlasting arms. What a comfort! What a joy that is!

I learned so much from my hero the night I saw him sing. I learned about leaning hard on the Lord and never forgetting He is always close by. I learned that we must never overlook the fact that our family, outside of God Himself, is our greatest gift from God. I learned that seeing the world through a child's eyes in not a bad thing. Most of all, though, I was reminded that life is life. My favorite new saying here of late has been, "It is what it is.". Life is what it is. It is what we make it. We can make life bearable by serving God and desiring Him above all else OR we can make it a drudgery by failing to give our lives into the hands of a loving God. Sometimes, priorities can get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. I stepped away from the busyness for a day and gained some valuable insight into life in Christ. Wonderful words, beautiful music, all at the end of the day.

This is Guy and Angie Penrod with their eight children---seven boys and one little girl, Lacey. A beautiful family.

In Grace,