I wanted to share how much the Lord God has blessed a broken and simple man as myself in His ministry that I have been so blessed to participate in.
I am a Senior Chaplain for Chaplain Service Corp, and I minister in the Meadowbrook Chapel. This is a ministry that has so touched my heart in so many ways, but yesterday blew me out of the water.
On Saturday, ironically, my birthday.....I was asked to attend and give a few words at Jean Smith's memorial service. I spoke for a few moments, of the time I had spent with Jean and the wonderful person I knew that was now waiting with the rest of the heavenly host to return with Christ when we would be all reunited in the air with those who had gone before. The words received from the four children were edifying and affirming, but the youngest daughter told me that Jean would talk of 'her chaplain' everytime she called. Joyful words to hear, especially concerning the ministry.
But then I went into chapel Sunday and gave a sermon on "Fearing God". I received an unusual request from one of the congregation to remain after to talk to her. Only Jean used to ask for 'extra-service' time. Even this dear soul would simply depart after a handshake.
But she said she wanted to tell me her story 'so someone will know' who she was. I listened and felt the pain that she's carried so long. Another soul crying out for meaning.
God spoke to me and I gave the words to the dear soul that was in tears.....and she smiled.
I don't mean a simple "thankyou" smile, but a burden-lifting God-granting grace filling smile.
I went to the home church after chapel and another friend who is in the recovery ministry with me wanted to tell me of her experience speaking to a group.
After she spoke, God put it on my heart to pray for her and the calling out He's put on her heart. In the end, we both had tears in our eyes as God moved among us.
And if that day wasn't full enough, God called me over to another friend....a dear sister in Christ who is having difficulties. I walked up to her and gave her a hug, telling her that God wanted me to fill in for Him on that and to tell her that He loves her.
She gave me another god-granting grace, burden lifting peace smile......
Years ago, I wouldn't have heard those calls to minister. Or been in the realization that God is ministering and I'm just the mouth piece.......Or even been able to see those smiles that are so different from an everyday smile.....
Forty years I have walked this earth, through some pretty dark times and dark places. I have often felt unworthy of God's grace, forgiveness, and salvation-----and especially of the call to ministry.
God was calling to me in that darkness of so long ago, but I refused to hear. He sent others to me to minister and to save me from myself, but I didn't believe it was Him.
While there have been those, who quote scripture and their experience, who say I must have been fooled when I spoke of the call to ministry, there have been those who have stood and said I was fooling myself to think my purpose lied elsewhere BUT ministry.
Often, in the last few years since He called me back to Him, I have wondered what He saved me for. And He shows me, it is:
For these times.
For the body that is emerging in the midst of chaos to reclaim the world for Christ.
For those smiles.............
How can I NOT do what God asks me to do when He rewards me so overwhelmingly with such blessings?
I'd be foolish to miss out on it.
God blessed me over and over this weekend.
I just wanted to stand on the mountain top and shout it to the WORLD!!!