Psalm 121:2-4 My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let you fall. Your guardian will not fall asleep. Indeed, the Guardian of Israel never rests or sleeps. God’s Word Translation
Whether you are saved or lost, the Lord is certainly and most actively pursuing you. God is not sitting around heaven waiting for you to move toward him. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too, am working.” That’s a direct quote from the Master.
Vicky had probably mentioned five times over the last nine months of her special desire to go to the Scarecrow Festival in Chappel Hill, Texas. Every kind of arts and craft and food would be there and she loves to see all the variety and color of assorted things. At the same time, I had been asking God to arrange a fishing trip with either my brother or my father-in-law. The day before the festival, both my father-in-law and my brother called and asked me to go fishing on Vicky’s special day.
Vicky did not try to hold me back or influence me in any way. She said that it was alright with her if I went fishing because I had been praying for this opportunity for a long time. But I didn’t even consider it. She didn’t understand… but it seemed clear to me at the time; God has always taught me that Vicky comes first in my life… before my children, before my friends, and before fishing.
“They have had all year to invite me to go fishing Vicky, and to ask me to go on the one special day you’ve been waiting for… well it just doesn’t seem like an answer to prayer from God. We’re going to the Scarecrow Festival.”
Vicky was delighted.
My wife loves to look around. I really am not all that interested in all the different crafts. We often end up seeing the same things in the different booths time and time again. Vicky suggested we take along a lawn chair so I could sit down when my feet got tired. Believe me; I take those kinds of hints seriously… especially since the accident.
As we were preparing to leave the house, my Life Flight T-shirt came to mind. This rarely happens, so I tried to understand if it might be the unction of the Holy Spirit.
“No sense in chancing it,” I said to myself and pulled it from the closet and put it on. One thing I hate more than anything is missing God’s unction.
On the front of the shirt is a picture of Life Flight in action. On the back I had a printer label in big bold letters, “GOD’S FLIGHT.” This shirt is only passed out to people whom Life Flight has carried; it’s not just an advertisement for public use. Thank God for Life Flight when I needed them. When they came for me… they were the wings of angels.
We arrived at the festival much later than we had hoped and were still blessed with a parking spot within a block of the main street. Thank God! We decided to stop and visit a few moments with my sister and my uncle before taking in all the rest of the day’s activities. They were selling cookies and flowers at the first corner street we came to. After a short time, I bought a bag of five chocolate chip cookies and Vicky and I began our stroll through the crowd and the crafts.
Vicky enjoyed one of the cookies and I took two. It seemed to me that the other two cookies were for someone else so I closed the seal on the plastic bag and began watching for some special children to give them to.
Then I asked… “Holy Spirit, witness to me whom I might bless with these cookies.”
God knows everything so I often ask Him to guide me, even in the very simplest details of life. He has a better way to do those things too. After about ten minutes it seemed best to give the cookies to almost any little boy or girl, and I almost did that… but somehow felt restrained. (Acts 16:6-7 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. NLT) There were people everywhere… why would it make much difference who I gave them to.
As soon as I saw her… I had the witness. There was a young woman who was serving beer from behind an open counter at a keg beer stand.
“Why, of all the people everywhere, would God choose that young lady,” is what went through my mind? I took a double check in my spirit as we kept walking. It is true that it made no sense. She wasn’t a small child like I had pictured in my mind… she must have been somewhere in her twenties. But the witness was there. Faith is doing what God impresses on your heart and gives you understanding to do and it rarely makes sense.
“Never second guess the Holy Spirit. Never. I said never.”
But that is what I did as we passed by the beer stand and kept walking. Walking by faith is a learned process of understanding that you have an unction from God… knowing what He showed you… and either doing it or not doing what you know to do. God is always right… so when I passed that opportunity to obey… I was already feeling “not so good” on the inside. I only see the miracles in the obedience.
At one point Vicky said, “David, I want to make this circle of the crafts and meet you right back here. Sit down for a while and rest your foot.”
When I hesitated, Vicky took the chair from me and started walking. When she found the best shade in the area, she unfolded the lawn chair and planted it firmly on the ground.
“Now sit down and rest until I get back,” she said. So I obeyed. I sat down in that chair, in the best shade and began to look around. To my surprise, Vicky had placed me right behind the beer stand. We had made a circle and God had placed me less than a hundred feet from this young lady who was serving beer as fast as she could fill the cups from the keg.
I laid the bag of cookies on my lap and watched the people as they passed by. On the inside I was seeking God and trying to gain some courage to do such a simple task that He had asked of me. I can’t explain it… but even in the simplest things that God asks of us… fear always comes to stop what God desires.
After only a few minutes there was a presence somewhere behind me. Out of the corner of my eye a woman could be seen. As I turned to look at her face to face, I said to her, “Hello, how are you doing today?”
She had a beer in her hand. “Fine,” she replied and kept moving very slowly behind me so I settled back in my chair and turned my head to meet her from the other side.
“Gods Flight,” She said. She had noticed my T-shirt.
“Yes ma’am,” I answered.
“You know what that means too, don’t you?”
“Yes ma’am, I sure do.”
“What happened to you,” she asked?
By that time she was standing in front of me, taking a drink from her beer.
“A forty five ton rubber tire machine backed up on my legs on a construction site… broke both my legs and my left hip… but I’m doing fine now.”
I didn’t want it to sound too terrible so I cut my story very short.
She said, “They Life Flighted my daughter also… it was pretty scary for a while.”
“How is she doing,” I asked.
“Oh she’s doing fine now. Look and see for yourself,” she said as she pointed my eyes toward the beer stand.
“She’s the young lady serving beer right behind you.”
I was absolutely awestruck. God is just too much sometimes.
“Ma’am, will you allow me to tell you what the Lord really did for me?”
Just at that moment a man walked up with his own beer and began to make conversation with her. I remained quiet so as not to embarrass her in any way and continued to pray under my breath. When the man left, she turned and responded, “Yes, I’m listening.”
“Ma’am… I was a severe alcoholic for many years. My life was a mess. I was also smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. I was so addicted… it seems that every time I tried to quit drinking or smoking… it just got worse. I finally came to the place where there was no place else to go. I was trapped and I couldn’t get out. I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life and save me and help me. I told Him that if He wasn’t real I would have wasted my whole life and I was going to hell. In that one prayer… the Lord set me free and I have never craved for alcohol or cigarettes since that moment.”
“You don’t know how much I needed to hear that. My son finally agreed to check himself into a drug rehab center for cocaine addiction three days ago.”
“Ma’am, are you a Christian?”
“Yes, I am,” she answered.
“Born again,” I asked.
“Well no, I don’t think so.”
“Ma’am, do you know the Lord?”
Her whole countenance changed. She said with such a hunger, “No, but I’ve never thought about the Lord so much in my whole life as I have for the past three weeks.”
Her eyes began to well up in her pain and hunger.
She said, “I believe God has sent His angels to help me through this time. Your story has been such an inspiration to me.”
I quickly thought about the unction to wear the t-shirt this morning. God was indeed perusing her… and He was using me to do it.
I told her, “I can tell you for sure that God has sent His angels, and without any doubt in my heart, He also sent me. I don’t want to just be an inspiration to you… I want you to meet the One who is the inspiration. Would you be willing to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”
“Yes,” was all she said.
I reached out my hand and said to her, “Put your hand in mine and I will lead you in a prayer to God. I’ll help you… just repeat what I say.”
She set her beer down on the ground and put her hand in mine. She had dark sunglasses on so I asked her to close her eyes and talk to God.
“You talk to God… because He is the only one who can help you.”
We finished our prayer and it seemed that she might be ready to leave. She reached down and picked up her beer and then thanked me. As she began to turn away I asked her another question.
“Would you mind if we prayed for your son before you leave?”
To my surprise, she put her beer back on the ground and then went down to her knees beside my chair and put her hands in mine.
“Yes, we really need to pray for him. I would appreciate that.”
We prayed and bound the devil off his life and asked the Lord to set him free. Her sons name is Jim. I never did ask what her name was. She picked up her beer and returned to her feet and shook my hand and thanked me again. Before she left, I asked her, “Ma’am, would you do me a favor?”
“Sure, if I can,” she replied.
“Would you see to it that your daughter gets these two cookies? I believe they were made especially for her.”
She took the bag and smiled and walked away.
Even partial disobedience is disobedience… but it seems that when I at least try… God will make a way to succeed in His plans. Our heavenly Father is awesome.