This morning I had to go to court to defend our church against a small claims lawsuit. I don’t want to go into all of the gory details; suffice it to say that our elders believed strongly that we were in the right and that we shouldn’t pay a company who they felt was trying to wrongfully make demands of us. Please believe that we did not take anything from this company or abuse them in any way. (email me if you just have to have the details) They filed a small claims suit when we told them we would not meet their demands, and today was our court appearance.
I felt fine about the appearance. When I got in the truck, KLOVE was playing Michael W. Smith’s “Mighty To Save.” I remembered Zephaniah 3:17 NIV, which the song is based on, and thought, “Wow! Thanks, Lord, for reminding me that you are bigger than my problems.”
One of our elders and our church secretary met me at church at 7:30 to head to court. Bob wanted to be there to support me and represent our body, and Ilene was the one who communicated with the company in question. When we all got in my truck to head out Bob laughingly told me that God was going to teach me some patience today. Well, I thought, however long it took today at least we would know what we needed to do. The decision of the officer would be final and binding, so at least we would have an answer!
We got to the courthouse early enough to stand outside the hearing room and pray. Bob, Ilene, and I stood in a circle and lifted up the meeting, the hearing officer, and even the officials of the other company up to the Lord. As we prayed Psalm 4 came to mind:
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.
4 Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord.
6 Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! 7
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.
Verse 5 especially caught my eye this afternoon. “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord.” So our job in this hearing was to live for Christ and trust that God would take care of our needs! Whether we were ordered to pay them or not, our desire as a church MUST be to honor Him, live righteously in His grace and trust Him to take care of us.
We did well in the hearing. I think that our case is very strong and we represented our church with integrity. Remember that Bob said that God was going to teach me some patience, though? The officer decided to take the case under advisement. We will find out her decision within 10 days. So we get to wait some more. Isaiah 55:8, anyone? 🙂
As I was talking with Laura on the way here she reminded me that maybe this is God’s way of increasing our faith in Him. We must continue to trust Him for the outcome and ask Him to give the hearing officer (Mrs. Landon) wisdom in her decision. We must continue to look to Him for our deliverance.
May we learn the same in our lives every day!
Please continue to pray for our church that we would live righteously and trust in the Lord.