Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ministry in the Moment

James Taylor's Time In A Bottle has long been a favorite of mine. I've often wondered how many of us have wished we could save time up in a bottle from those days that seem to drag by so we could use it when time seems to be slipping away all too quickly. These last few days have been like that.

Two days ago (it seems like a week ago) an acquaintance called to ask if I could come over and talk with him and his wife for a while. They were facing a crisis and needed to take some time and get perspective. So, of course, I went over and spent the evening with them.

We stayed up until after midnight, ushering out the day of turmoil that had thrown them for a loop and greeted the new day with a prayer together for wisdom and guidance and peace. And while you always hope that those days are miracle moments when God will make everything better, it just didn't work out like that. I did not get to sleep until almost 3am and the young couple didn't sleep well, either. The next day I was scheduled for a 10-hr day and was simply unable to make the calls I wanted to make to help them out. But I did make one call - to let them know I was praying for them.

That was it. That was the miracle moment. I didn't know it then, but God used that moment to focus the day and move His people to get His work done. And I thought at the time that it was about the only thing I would be able to do, and it would never be enough. Calls needed to be made and arrangements arranged. I needed to get things done and come through in the pinch. And I did not even begin to realize that I already had. I spent most of the day doing my job the best I could, all the while wishing that I could be somewhere else making things happen.

God does that. He uses the little things you do, not just the grand and complicated things, to make a difference. He takes the small moments when we submit in helplessness to work His best work behind our backs. When we want to make a day of helping someone and then it seems we only get to do a fraction of what we wanted to do, God shines.

While I was testing car exhaust systems all day, God was working. While I had wanted to make arrangements for a storage facillity, God arranged for a new home. While I had hoped to get a foot in the door with this couple I only know a little, God was preparing a way to get to know them well and serve them and be served by them and for blessings to rain down on all.

The bank had foreclosed - almost without any notice. The home was to be vacated almost immediately. The sheriff was knocking at the front door. He had a court order. He had the force of law. But we had a little talk with our Father and God made it clear who sits on the throne where it counts.

Immediately vacated now has been translated to mean by next Monday afternoon. A possible storage facillity is now being exchanged for a home to live in. And a partial answer hoped for became a solution that blesses all involved. We had a little talk with our Father and the King of heaven and earth made a miracle much more than we had asked for, and just what was needed.

What do you do when you make plans that seem doomed to fail? How do you respond when time seems to be running out and answers cannot be found? Where do you look when the carpet is yanked from beneath your feet and you're lying there, flat on your back?

You remember that now, finally, everything is looking up - and so you talk to the One who makes miracles happen. And then you trust Him and keep looking for the things you CAN do. And watch for it ... for it is surely coming: the miracle of the moment.

1 comment:

Bobby Cohoon said...

Amen Glenn. So many times in our lives we forget to just rely on God. And than no matter what the situation He is going to give us the strength to get through it.

Good post brother.