Posted by: zephaniah317 | July 5, 2007

Whatever It Takes

I’m finishing up a book called, “A Voice from Home – The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father,” by Rich Stevenson.  One of the guys in my prayer group at work loaned it to me to read a while back, and I’ve been whittling away at it.  (by comparison, it took me a weekend to read “Saint”, by Ted Dekker, and I have the Circle Trilogy and “Showdown” on order – good stuff!)  Have to admit, not a lot of stuff hit me between the eyes.  Until today.

Rich was quoting a gentleman named Jack Deere in his book Surprised By God, and a story about when he was on staff at a Vineyard Church in Anaheim, CA.  One night he took a prophetic pastor with him to a group of 200 ten-  to twelve-year-olds to speak to them and answer questions, thinking he was overqualified.  Here’s how it goes:

“After he fielded such questions as “Why is it that bad things happen to people who love God and try to follow Him?” and “Pastor, why did God create the devil?” Jack decided that some demon from hell had sumggled in a list of all the unsolved theological questions from the past twenty centuries.  He immediately passed the baton to the prophetic guy, asking him, “Has the Lord shown you anything about these kids?”  The prophetic pastor said, “Yes, He has,” and then he looked straight at a cute twelve-year-old girl:

“What’s your name?” he asked.
“J-J-Julie.”…
“Julie, while Jack was speaking I had a vision of you.  It was Tuesday night.  That’s five nights ago.  You went to your bedroom and shut the door.  You were crying.  You looked up to heaven and said, ‘God do you really love me?  I have to know–do you really love me?’  God didn’t say anything to you on Tuesday night, Julie.  He sent me here tonight to tell you He really loves you.  He really loves you.  He also told me to tell you that the trouble going on around you is not your fault.  He didn’t tell me if he is going to change the trouble, but he wants you to know you aren’t the cause of it.”

Jack talked with Julie privately after the service and asked her if what the pastor described had in fact happened on Tuesday night.  She said yes.  He asked if her parents were fighting and thinking about getting a divorce.  She said yes.  He then asked her if she thought it was her fault.  She looked up and smiled and said, “Not anymore.”  Jack writes concerning that night,

I thought about a little girl in Anaheim, California, who won’t be sitting in some psychiatrist’s office when she is thirty years old, trying to get rid of guilt she has carried around for the last twenty years.  Even if her parents divorce, she will never blame herself for it.  The prophetic word of the Lord came to her and delivered her from that guilt.  The prophetic word of the Lord convinced her that God really does love her.  The prophetic word of the Lord convinced about two hundred of her friends that night that the God they talk about in church really does know everything about their lives and loves them in spite of it.”

Now, I’ve always been skeptic about the whole prophetic word of the Lord thing.  But when I read that this afternoon (yes, instead of doing a couple of things on my plate here at work – whatever…), that wasn’t what stood out.  It was me realizing that I’ve had an attitude about God like, “You know I love you, why do I have to speak to you all the time?!?!”  Now I know better.  Julie prayed and asked God if He loved her, and she sincerely needed to know this in the middle of some pretty adverse circumstances for a 12-year-old.  Nuthin’.  Not a peep from the big man upstairs.  Was there something in her inhibiting that still small voice?  Did God want to wait until 5 nights later so that others could benefit from His love?  Whatever the reason, here’s the deal:  God went to whatever lengths necessary to make dang sure that Julie knew He loved her.  The extra mile110%. Period.  And, in the process, by me reading the story, knocked down a wall I believed to be between me and Him.  I don’t believe that part of the relationship is up to me anymore.  If God thinks I need to know the truth about Him, He’ll go through a brick wall to make sure I know it.  Thanks, Rich.  And, thanks, Dad.  I love you.

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Responses

  1. This was a sweet story…thank you for sharing..I think it neat that you have a prayer group at work….!!


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