Thursday, October 2, 2014

Just When I Needed It Most

I never cease to be amazed at how our Lord knows exactly what we need, and how He often uses others to encourage us - just when we need it most.

It was the last day of April of this year.  Without going into all the details, let me just say that I was going through a very dark and difficult time in my life and ministry.  Frustration.  Depression. Discouragement.  You've probably been there.

When the mail arrived, there were the usual bills, junk mail, etc. Mixed in with the other stuff, was the card you see pictured here.
It came from a young wife and mother whom I had known since she was in 1st or 2nd grade.  Her parents were old friends of ours and our sons had played baseball together from Little League through High School and Summer Ball.

I hadn't seen the young lady for a number of years.  We were friends on Facebook, so I have been able to keep up with her and her growing young family.  She had married a young man who had been in the youth group at a former church I served as Pastor many years ago.  He had accepted Christ and had a real desire to serve the Lord in his life.  I had not seen either of them in a number of years, yet "out of the blue" at a time when I was beginning to feel "what's the use?", this card comes in the mail.

I am not using their names, as I have not asked her permission to do so, but here is what the young lady had written on the inside:

I'm going to steal a line from a song I'm sure you have heard many times. "Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed." 
I'm not sure if you know what an impact you had on my husband's life.
You were such a strong, Christian role model in _______'s teen age years.  Under your ministry he became a Christian. As a direct result of your ministry I have a Christian husband.  My girls have a Christian father.
He is a leader, serving in our church.,  He is respected at his work and is known as being a man of integrity and character. That is all a direct result of your example in his life.
Although it has been a long time since either of you were at Ashland Baptist, __________ still respects your teaching of the Word and refers back to things you have preached or taught.
I don't believe in coincidence and I think it is amazing that a man who has known my family my whole life is also the man who led another man at a different time in life to the Lord!
It is an assurance to me that God is always working in our lives, even when we don't see it!
Again, I just wanted to take a minute and let you know that we love and appreciate you and Linda and are forever grateful for your ministry and friendship.  Phil. 1:3 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you."
                                             In Christ's Love,

Well, let me tell you this.  By the time I got to the end of the note I could barely read it for the tears welling up in my eyes.

I hadn't had much contact with either of these folks in a number of years, yet God used this young lady to minister to me in such a tremendous way.

I began to think about how God put it on her heart a couple of days earlier to send this card and write that beautiful note, and drop it in the mail so I would receive it when I was at my lowest point in years! As Dr. Chuck Kelley would say, "To coin an ancient Hebrew expression, WOW!"

I immediately wrote her a private message on Facebook to thank her, and here is the exchange.

Dear ________,
I received your beautiful card and note yesterday afternoon. You cannot imagine what it meant to me especially with what I was going through at the time. Our God used you to bless and encourage me when I needed it most. Thanks for being attuned to His Spirit and being used by Him to encourage this old preacher.
I love you guys and am humbled that The Lord allowed me to be part of His plan for your lives, Oh how He loves us!

Here is her reply:
I can't express to you how strongly God had put you on my heart to send it....and how much the devil has been on my back since!! He does love us!! Have a blessed day

Isn't it interesting how she said God had put me so strongly on her heart ?
She had no idea of the valley I was walking through at the time.

Isn't it also interesting how Satan had hit her so hard for being obedient to the Father?

What a wonderful Lord we serve. He knows us. He loves us. And He's there just when we need Him the most.

Circumstances actually got worse for me over the next two months, but God used this young lady and her note to help remind me that it hasn't been in vain. My spirits were raised, and His Spirit helped carry me through the next two months with the joy that comes from knowing Him.

Thank you, Lord for using this young lady to bless me and minister to my spirit, when I needed it so badly.

And thank you _____________ for being obedient to His Spirit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More, more, more of THIS