Friday, February 01, 2008

Many years ago when the Lord first began to draw me towards ministry and before I had really experienced the clear moves of the Holy Spirit in my life, regarding how He allowed me to see His desire for my obedience to connect with others, He acted in a very tangible way.

It was Easter, and our church had outgrown the ability to seat everyone in one service. We rented an auditorium at Butler University to be able to accomodate all members plus any visitors into one worship experience.
We underwent brief training as a "response" team who were going to counsel those who came forward at the end of the service. It was going to be my first opportunity to do such a thing. I was very nervous.

I don't remember anything about the service, except that I wondered what kind of reaction people would have to it. Would the Holy Spirit stir them? Would they come forward? Would I be pressed into service? How would I know who to talk to?
During our briefing, we had been told, "the Holy Spirit will lead you to the person(s) you are to counsel."
Oh great! What was that going to look like?

Did that mean that my person (if there was one) was going to have a neon sign around there neck that said, "Brent, pick me?" I was hoping so. I had no idea how to discern who I was supposed to wrangle to a quiet corner. I was very nervous.
The service closed, and the time came. I got up from my seat and moved into position. Nothing after that happened in a way I had feared.
What ensued was the most natural experience I could imagine.
A crowd of people responding to God's call on their lives moved forward as one. For a moment, I felt overwhelmed, looking for that flash of neon.
Then, a young man emerged from the crowd. He was a face I recognized. He had grown up in our church. His parents were pillars of the body. He had been a frequent special music contributor in his teen years. I knew of his story. He had gone away to college, and walked away from the Lord.
When I saw Him, I almost involuntarily moved towards him. I knew this was my person. There was such peace. There was such comfort. My angst was gone. This was why I was here this day.
Our eyes locked and he redirected his shuffle towards me with purpose.

We spent the next several minutes together as he recounted his life over the last few years. God had moved in his heart. His parents and many in our body had been praying for him. He was an amazing young man who had gotten off track, as many of us do. Over the next few weeks, we would connect a time of two more, for encouragement. His desire to follow the Lord was intense. He struggled with follow through. The world had a grip on his heart.

I would continue to pray for him for some time to come. I would only see him occasionally at church. He just could not shake loose from the world's grip. I found myself from time to time in the last few years, wondering how he was doing.

When the Indiana team pulled up to my house and spilled into my yard a week ago, my heart lept with joy!

There he was, and he wasn't alone. We walked towards each other and embraced warmly. My mind was flooded with memories from that Easter. I don't know what he remembered or thought (we were never close) but the joy of the Lord was written all over his face! With him was his son. A young man I didn't even know.
He was training his son in the ways of his heavenly Father. He was starting early in teaching him how to serve. I was so blessed to have them here!
Praise God for father's who get it! For men who have struggled through their lives, failed, and gotten back up to seek Him again! He was spending time with his son, training him how to follow after the Lord.
Praying for those who are far from the Lord is never a useless effort. Only God knows the timing of reunion. Let us not falter in our responsibility of lifting them up!


At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listened to your interview last night on the radio. I was very blessed! Thank you for sharing your faith and BJ's God.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord. God bless you.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your joy dad. After many years as a youth volunteer and Sunday School teacher I've experienced the same thing. One is now ordained and serving in full time ministry!

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 1:23 PM, Blogger ritaleelovesyou said...

This blog brought me to tears.
The amazing things God can do.
The answers to prayer. How he moves.
It is so overwhelmingly beautiful.
That is so wonderful to hear.
And so encouraging. Hopeful.
Thank you for sharing.

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful post today. May those who are followers heed the call to lead others, pray for others and enjoy eternity together with our Heavenly Father! Vicky


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