Last night a friend of my wife and I, Gloria Garry called to offer me some tickets to a gospel event she couldn’t make. She thanked us for encouraging her when we first met her and she was going through a bad time. Then after talking a little longer I shared with her some of what I was going through. It was getting harder and harder to be an encouragement to others when I was desperately n need of encouragement myself. The she told me not to give up (something I have told many others). She said God is testing me to see if I can now walk what I was talking to others. Before we hung up she continued to say, “God wants to know that even when you are in the midst of your storm, if you will continue to feed His sheep.” Those word stuck with me, this morning.
So this morning when I woke up, I did my regular daily routine, started the day with prayer and then read several verses in the bible. After reading I started to glance back over my book, Spiritual Minded, da daily devotion for the hip hop generation. I skimmed through and found a devotion I wrote called in In The Midst Of It All, influenced by Yolanda Adams song by the same name. It was just what the doctor ordered so to speak. It so amazing how God works. So today while I am yet in the midst of my storm, I share this devotion, praying it will be a blessing to others who are finding it hard to go on!I’ve come through many hard trials
Through temptations on every hand
Though Satan’s tried to stop me
And to place my feet on sinking sand
Through the pain and all of my sorrows
Through tears and all of my fears
The Lord was there to keep me
For He’s kept me in the midst of it all – Yolanda Adams
Look for God in the midst of daily challenges- Philip Polo
When I first moved from New York to Atlanta, I had things all lined up or so I thought. I spoke to some of the major magazines about being there Atlanta rep. Usually when they interview someone in Atlanta, they would fly one of us writers from New York of Los Angeles. But since I was moving here I was trying to set myself up at the go to guy in Da ATL.
I was also doing college radio promotions and was making contacts in Atlanta so I could handle some of the labels accounts down here. Even though I thought I had things set up before my move, not long after I got down here my economic status unexpectedly begin to decline.
I got down with one of the local publications that didn’t have many national contacts. Trying to get extra money out of the labels the head of the magazine messed up some long standing contacts I had. They were only interested in my contacts and never really end of holding their end of the bargain. Eventually my association with them was costing me way more than it was worth.
I had others, cousins and associates that already lived in Atlanta and was trying to get me to come down here for awhile. All sorts of conversations about doing business together made my decision to move a little easier. But as my money starting drying up some of the acquaintances I had seem to avoid me. Instead of keeping it real and telling me their situation wasn’t all that great and they didn’t have things on lock as they portrayed, they just avoided me.
So now I’d down here with my new fianc©e and very few strong connects. Of course everyone who owed me money was no where to be found or simply just didn’t have it. Even an editor of a major publication who had recently gotten a promotion wouldn’t return my calls even though I saved his life one night literally. Editors I did know would tell me they got me but I was 1000 miles away and after I got off the phone, it was sort of out of site, out of mind.
Now during this crazy difficult time I found it much harder to live the word of God than to simply talk about it. It was hard to live a certain way without resorting to some things that would have brought in some money and keep my bills paid. It’s one thing to say the all the right stuff about having faith when it’s all good. But it was harder to put it in practice when the chips are down. You want to live right but your ribs are starting to touch. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Let your request made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds through Jesus Christ. – Philippians 4: 6-7
What I didn’t know for awhile was this was my molding process. God has away for breaking us down only to build us back up. He does this to prepare us and mold us for the work He has for us to do. In building us back up He gets the credit and the glory. When we don’t readily give Him the credit and the praise, He has a way of getting our undivided attention. And lets just say He got mine 100%.
This was His way of preparing me for a greater far more rewarding lifestyle that touches many of those hurting and living outside of the walls of a church, outside of the will of God, and those who don’t know God. In the bible God used fishermen, tax collectors, shepherds, physicians and in the case of God a persecutor of Christians and now he is using me a former rapper and professional hip hop junkie.
Through the process God was teaching me a lesson. Sometimes I have been slow to learn and need a brick wall to fall on me before I get it. All I needed to do was come to and depend on Him. I put my faith in man and was left holding the bag so to speak. What I didn’t realize at the time was He was busy removing these certain individuals from my life that I didn’t need around me and I was breaking my neck trying to put them back in.
Through out all this I got more and more involved with my church. Joined the Publicity Ministry, The Men’s Ministry and the Sound Ministry (which later was renamed to the Media Outreach Ministry. I ended up being the secretary of the Men’s Ministry, Co-Chairperson of the Publicity Ministry, helped lay out the monthly church newsletter and eventually became the Chairperson of the newly renamed Media Outreach Ministry. Basically I was helping wherever I could at the church.
I began sharing my testimony with other men in the church in the Men’s Ministry. We had one particular roundtable discussion we had for the men of the church, which truly helped me before I got married. Hearing from others that were married from 3 years to 50 years, I found that I wasn’t the only one going through it. What I didn’t know is what I was going through was so my testimony would be a blessing to others who will face the same challenges in the future.
I begin sharing my testimony and using my gift of writing to uplift, encourage and inspire others on my daily devotion blog. I let God use me to minister to others as well as myself on my blog and this book as well. I started be obedient to what God truly called me to do.
Bottomline no matter how bad it got at any given point, our needs were met. There was always food on the table, the lights stayed on (or were cut back on the few times they actually got cut off) and we had a roof over our head. Now I will admit I had to move once or twice but we were never without a place to live. And to be honest in each situation the new place was a step up from the prior place. Things may not have had been the way we wanted, we may not have had everything we wanted but He certainly provided everything we needed. Not because I’ve been so faithful
Not Because I’ve always obeyed
It’s not because I trust him
To be with me all of the way
But it’s because He loves me so dearly
He was there to answer my call
There always to protect me
For He’s kept me in the midst of it all
It wasn’t because I believed and even put all my faith in Him. It wasn’t because I was obedient and paying my tithes faithfully or do everything I was suppose to. I certainly want because I deserved it. But He continued to work on me. He kept me. All because He loved me even though I was far from worthy. No He’s never left me
And He’ never let me fall
Oh yes He will protect you
For He’s kept me in the midst of it all
While not as fast as I would like sometimes I am starting to see that spiritual fruits grew during this period of my life that I am still just coming out of. God is still working in my life and surrounding me with His angels. I am still amazed in how He works and how he delivers me and my family out of every situation we have faced. While to be honest even now it’s still a struggle, God is providing for me and my wife, and I continue to do His work and put Him first. I continue to praise His name and give Him thanks.