Have you ever doubted your ability to be used by God?
Pete and I have. We’ve looked at others and thought they are better equipped to serve and share the Gospel than we. No doubt that’s true. That’s why it’s important to remember it’s not about our ability.
It’s about God’s.
But God. How many times have I sat down with my Bible, read those two words and known God was about to grab hold of the impossible and make it a reality?
That’s just what He did when He took hold of our plans to take a cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
Even before we booked our cruise, we knew what the real purpose was. The Lord had been speaking to our hearts, encouraging us to hold church services and Bible studies during the two weeks we’d be at sea. So, once our cruise was booked, with a very shaky voice, I made the necessary call. “We’d like to hold church services during the cruise.” The silence on the other end of the line told me that the person I was speaking with didn’t quite know how to respond. “It would be great if you could place notices in the daily schedule, so passengers are aware of the opportunity.”
“How many services are we talking about?” The woman sounded more than a little reluctant.
“Three,” I said. “One each Sunday and then there’s Thanksgiving.”
Ridiculous. Impossible. The negative words shot through my mind, like torpedoes trying to sink God’s plans.
But God would not let me keep silent.
“And we would like to host Bible studies every day that the ship is at sea.” With each word, the request seemed increasingly impossible. “We’ll only need one small room for the Bible study and maybe one of your lounges for church services.” A few days later, the answer came.
It wasn’t long before our good friends Dave and Wendy and Doug and Peggy offered to help with the services and Bible studies.God put together an amazing team. Doug helped with preaching, Peggy led worship, Dave and Wendy led prayer, took care of technical needs, helped organize and build bridges with passengers and crew. Pete and I led the Bible studies. And Pete shared messages at the church services.
The morning of our first church service I stood on our balcony looking out at the ocean, wondering if even one person would show up. The doubts were like the saltwater surrounding us. And I had to stop drinking its poison. My thoughts traveled to the meeting Jesus had with the woman at the well. Just one woman. Yes, Jesus showed up for only one. He offered her water (John 4:7-26), the same water that would be offered during the church services and Bible studies.
Despite our doubts, God made the impossible happen. From day one, attendance at the church services exceeded anything we had imagined. Doug’s message on Forgiveness struck many who were struggling to forgive. Thanksgiving testimonies touched hearts and minds, giving God all the glory. By the time of our final church service, attendance had outgrown the lounge and we were moved to the ship’s theatre where Pete presented the Gospel using the Fellowship of Christian Farmer beads. Several passengers came forward for prayer.
We gave out over 200 bracelets. Many more were mailed after the cruise. From day one, the room set aside for Bible study was too small. A second room had to be added. Precious relationships were formed as we studied God’s Word and prayed for each other.
When the impossible is placed in God’s hands, He changes it into the possible.
And eternity is altered.
Again, this weekend on January 18th and 19th, we step into a But God opportunity at the Manatee Festival in Crystal River, Florida where we will hand out Fellowship of Christian Farmers walking sticks and share the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray for safety, health, and provision as we travel. Pray for those who stop by our tent that God will soften their hearts as they listen to the story of the beads. And pray that eternity will be altered for many.