Something peculiar and fascinating happened to me Sunday that I’d like to share with you.
Every year we have Bible College students come to our church and minister. We roll out the red carpet for them. We provide housing for them to stay with families in our church. And of course we feed them, which they appreciate so much. We usually put together a service in the park and they do their thing with their musical talents as we try to woo in the community. On Sunday morning of this big weekend, our platform and service is turned over to them. They’re given full run with the music as well as the preaching.
Up to the mic steps this young man. I remember thinking how adorable he was, as he was short and small with a kind face. As he began to preach, he mentioned that he had come to our church last year and preached. He spoke of how down and out he felt last last year right before he was to preach. He felt as if he didn’t have any idea of what he was doing. And when he did preach that morning, he walked away feeling like he had no impact whatsoever. He also said he was going through a rough spell during that time in his life too.
He then says to us that a lady in our church gave him a letter last year. She told him, “Every time you go up to preach, read this.” He said he wouldn’t expose what was in the letter, but that she shared her heart with him and some of the struggles she was facing as well. He said the letter changed his life and was exactly what he had needed to hear. He then went on to say, if you’re here today, I’d love to talk with you and know how you’re doing.
As this young man is speaking of all of these things, I realize it was me that wrote that letter! I didn’t recognize that young man’s face when he came up to speak. But the familiarity of what he said just started dawning on me. I then remembered sitting at my table writing something and calling a mentor of mine to help talk me into giving him the letter. The mentor said, “Obviously, the Lord wants you to encourage him, so do it.”
I remember giving him the letter. But I can’t tell you for the life of me what it said! Not one word. I admitted to him after church that it was me. And he knew immediately that it was me. He said he’ll never forget how that letter helped him. He said that when he heard the college was coming back to my church that he just had to come to tell the lady how her letter helped him. He had the letter back at his dorm room, and he couldn’t recall all that was wrote.
As I’ve reflected back on these events these last few days, I felt bad in a way for not remembering. These big inspiring and encouraging words. How could I not remember? But then I got to thinking….what if they weren’tmy words at all? What if they were God’s words?
I was a vessel as we so often call ourselves. But do we really think about that? Do we think about how God uses our mouths to speak His truth? Our hands to do His work? Or even how He uses our writing abilities to write a letter from Him to someone He loves and has a word for?
So the next time you feel a nudging to step outside of the usual actions of your daily life, stop and question if it’s the Lord. One way you’ll know is that nudging doesn’t stop, it persists. Another way to know is, it’s usually something you don’t want to do. Amen? Even if it is a letter or a card to someone you just cannot get off your mind. And if so, don’t worry about what to write because God will do the work, you just go grab and pen and paper and be the willing vessel!