Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)
TITLE: A PIECE OF PAPER
By esther robinson
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“It’s true, today many say that messages I offer convicts them of their sins besides healing their body, soul, spirit and mind. How did this come to pass? Never did I imagine that fifteen years ago on a Sunday such as this one would resemble a day when Elijah’s mantle fell on Elisha.
On that memorable Sunday….
A shiver went down my spine. I gulped lukewarm milk and it rushed through my food pipe to reach the stomach like a river joining the sea. ‘Have just one more slice of this toasted bun.’ Sophia, my mother placed it on a porcelain plate. ‘Mom! We have just an hour’s time. Come. Let’s move. I’ll take it later.’ I adjusted my tie, picked the Bible checked and rechecked if that precious paper remained intact and scampered downstairs. My mother followed. From her expression I knew she uttered a prayer for me.
My mom knew the reason for my peculiar behavior on that day. Our car after having raced the highway reached that breath-taking hamlet down hill. A few laborers and their family who still survive on lumbering as part-time work lived there. During winter, when everyone desires to migrate to warmer areas, these men were busy at work. In full swing felling of trees is done such that before ice thaws the logs are arranged so that they could be floated to the next nearer town or port. I parked the car. My family members and I received a warm welcome by pastor Randall.
Although not a veteran public speaker, I had the privilege of sharing God’s word in a small way among fellowship groups. My father Clement, a renowned evangelist would normally pray privately three to four days in his room, well ahead of his preaching assignments. In kneeling posture, he would visualize the wounds of the crucified Christ. Immediately tears sprung up like a stream from his eyes and he would become lost in God’s presence. Truly, it is only the crucified and resurrected body of Jesus Christ alone that draws everybody to Him and bestows blessings that they ask of Him.
The gifts, anointing of the Holy Spirit and the calling of God that my father had, came upon me in a double measure. My father had to attend an important business conference in the secular realm. He politely turned down the offer to speak in church but was overwhelmed with joy when pastor Randall requested and suggested if I could deliver God’s Word. To his amazement I also agreed without my volition. That happened to be my first sermon standing at the pulpit particularly in a church.
In a few moments after being introduced as the speaker, I stood on the platform with confidence that God will give me suitable utterances. This thought dominating on the spiritual front, on the physical side smiled that small piece of paper containing notes tugged inside the Bible. When I opened the Bible that tiny paper grew wings lifted up, floated in the air and flew out through the window close by. I panicked. Some giggled in the congregation. That insignificant paper collapsed my trust like a pack of cards that fell out of sealed cover. If I were to go and search for it, I pictured myself as a clown.
That is when the Holy Spirit descended upon me. I offered a prayer for the gathered before beginning and it was partially meant for me. ‘Lord! Grant us grace to depend only on You – the King of kings.’ Everyone listened with rapt attention because I did not speak. Holy Spirit prompted every word after that submission. On that day, I understood that God works on clay that yields without murmur to the twists and turns of the Potter’s hands. As a result, vessels set aside for glory were being made. That day at the pulpit marked the glorious beginning of a servant of God who relied on Him for everything without reserve.
My mother had this to say. ‘I perceive that even that piece of paper obeyed a command from God to teach my son a lesson at the pulpit to always depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.’ I thanked the Holy Spirit and took a seat near the pulpit.
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