Pastor Dudley cracked open the front door and stepped onto his porch, sweeping away dust. He gazed into the cloudless Oklahoma sky and sighed, “If rain doesn’t fall here soon, I don’t know what we’re gonna do. P-lease, Lord, give us a breakthrough!”
He thought about how later that night he’d be leading his congregation at Crossroads Church for their midweek prayer meeting where he’d pastored for the past 30 years.
Although he’d served God for most of his 58 years, Pastor Dudley was beginning to think, What’s the use? Does God still hear prayer? No rain for months--- almost as bad as the Dust Bowl drought that my parents lived through back in the mid-30s.
What’s more, he’d recently lost his beloved wife, as well as his eight-year-old grandson, who’d died of leukemia. Yet, through it all, he kept repeating to himself, “God is still a good god.” But in his heart, he wondered…..
He shifted his gaze to the dirt road in front of his house, noting a small kitten asleep in the road. Without thinking, he dashed to the road, swooped down and flung the kitten safely out of harm’s way. Then a truck whizzed ‘round the bend, striking him, onto the grass.
As Pastor Dudley fell, he felt his body being vacuumed out of him, through a long tunnel, where he saw a white blinding light.
He heard familiar voices he hadn’t heard in years cry out his name.
“Ma! Pa!” He stammered. The Bible says there are no tears in heaven, but joyful tears of sweet reunion fell from his eyes as he embraced his long departed parents. They ushered him into the throne room where he fell at the feet of the King of Kings and Lord of Lord.
Heavenly choruses---sounds indescribable--- flooded his mind as waves of continual praises echoed in corporate worship, exalting the King of Kings.
A rain forest of singing animals----every creature, including rocks, erupted into “Holy, Holy, Holy…”
Crying, “I never wanna leave this place,” he heard the Savior whisper, “I’m sending you back, my son, for you must show My people how to worship.”
Just as quickly as his spirit had left his body, it returned.
“No, please let me stay!” He argued, as paramedics froze in shock to see life returning to his dead body. However, he knew he couldn’t go back for while----He had a job to do.
When his church members visited him in the hospital, all he could say was, “Worship the King of Kings----Worship Him in spirit and truth.”
But with Pastor Dudley laid up in a hospital bed, and the on-going drought, his disheartened congregation didn’t even feel like praying---much less worshiping. Without their dear pastor leading them, they felt hopeless, questioning if there would ever be a breakthrough. His church had grown dry, too, needing a good spiritual rain of the Holy Spirit.
Only a week later, Pastor Dudley made a miraculous recovery and was released from the hospital on a Wednesday morning. Much to everyone’s amazement, he later walked into the mid-week evening prayer meeting where his members were praying for his recovery, as well as for rain.
“You’re back!” They cried, rushing up to him with hugs. “A walking miracle,” they agreed, overjoyed to see their pastor back on his feet so soon after the accident.
As Pastor Dudley approached the pulpit, he prayed silently. “Stop praying and just listen,” He heard God’s spirit speak.
It was a sizzling August night and the windows were open. A choir of canaries chimed in nearby oak trees, and then another chorus of bullfrogs croaked their praise songs. Mooing distance cows, baaing sheep and neighing goats, all joined in the barnyard choir.
“Stop praying for rain----do as all God’s creatures and just praise Him,” Pastor Dudley said, pointing to the windows.
“We praise, Oh Lord for healing our pastor!” an elderly woman cried, bursting out in “Our God is An Awesome God.”
The prayer meeting soon turned into an all-night praise-a-thon as everyone continued to lift holy up hands and worship. Soon they forgot about the drought, as they were so consumed in worship. God’s had spirit rained on Crossroads Church.
Then the clock struck midnight. That’s when the heavens opened, and physical rain finally fell.
Closing the windows, they leaped for joy and praised God, again, as Pastor Dudley exclaimed, “Thank you, Father, for a breakthrough! You truly are an awesome God!”
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