Tuesdays are Terrific! It's amazing the way God works. He pulls elements and people from here and there, puts us all together in one place and, zap, we can only say, "That was a God thing." I suspect he does it more often, but frequently we're too dense to recognize his hand in things. Last Tuesday was too obvious to miss! It had to be God!
In the early 1970's (ancient history again), Bob and I were assisting George Taylor here at the church we pastor now. Bob was Associate Pastor and Spanish Pastor, I was Youth Director. At the apartment complex where we lived and Bob worked, we became acquainted with a couple of young teenage boys, brothers. They would help Bob around the apartments and at times one or both would watch our two young sons for a hour or two to free me for ministry or errands. We began bringing them to Youth Service and then to Church services with us. Soon both were baptized and Holy Spirit filled. At one point, we offered to take them into our home to live with us, due to some circumstances at the time. It did not become necessary, but they remained close to us until we left for a mission in Ecuador, South America.
In the intervening years, both young men went astray, but never forgot the touch of God on their lives. Since we've returned to Elgin, we've seen one of the brothers several times. He's come to services now and then. The other we saw only once, at a funeral and had little time to talk.
This summer, a new neighbor moved in next door to the church. Over the last few weeks, we discovered that one of the brothers is frequently at their house. We've talked a few times, talked about the way God works, invited him and the neighbor to church. Then Monday, Bob wanted to talk to the other brother, the one we had not seen, to invite him to Tuesdays are Terrific. Bob said he felt it ordained of God that Tom come to service Tuesday. We hadn't seen Tommy for several years. He called his brother and asked how to contact Tommy. The reply was, "talk to your neighbor. He usually knows where Tommy is at."
Determined to make contact, Bob headed next door and asked, "Do you know how I can reach Tommy?"
The neighbor directed his comments to a man seated with his back to Bob, "Hey, Tom, Pastor Bob wants to talk to you."
And Tommy turned around, gave Bob a huge bear hug and began to cry. He then proceeded to tell the above story to the astonished neighbor.
Tommy came to church on Tuesday (two days ago) when Michael Cole, Jr. from Dixon, IL came to speak. Pastor Mike has a prophetic ministry. He knew nothing of this story when he came. Pastor Mike spoke from Psalm 23 "He restoreth my soul." Tommy and his friend sat toward the back of the sanctuary until the call came for "restoration" and Tom came forward. With no carnal knowledge of the man or his situation, Pastor Mike talked to him and prayed with him about "these people who have loved you for years," "God doesn't care where you've been or what you've done, he welcomes you back." and more specific pieces of Tom's history. Possibly some that apply much more than I know.
For a restored Christian of two days, Tom's doing well. He says people at work are looking at him differently. He hasn't lost his temper; he hasn't "cussed out" anyone; he hasn't been drinking. He's reading the Bible Bob gave him and listening to the Larnellle Harris CD's Bob gave him. His smile says he's a new man.
It was such a God thing. There's much of the story I don't even know. I know Tom's been in some really bad places in these intervening years, but there is no place so bad or so dark that God's light cannot penetrate.
What happens now is largely human choice, a matter of man's choosing to follow God, choosing to grow, choosing to pray. It's a matter of Prayer Warriors choosing to intercede, of Christians choosing to reach out, to befriend. But God has moved heaven and earth to bring together those elements for a fresh touch, for a true restoration. Look around and see the wonders that God is working in your life. To penetrate the darkness, you need only THE LIGHT!
I'm thankful!! Tuesdays are Terrific!!