Tuesday, March 15, 2016

CP 271 Wallaby series... I said 'No', she said 'Yes. And then...

CP 271 Wallaby series… I said ‘No’, she said, ‘Yes’. And then…
This is not a tale of strife tween husband and wife. So we were in Portland, Victoria, last week. We wanted to catch up with pastoral friends and check out the LC in Portland because we knew some good things were happening. On the Thursday night my friend conveyed a request that I might share a testimony on Sunday. My initial response was ‘Don’t want to.’ Having forsworn any preaching during this year I wanted to stick to my guns. Give me anonymity! Besides, I’m not necessarily in the right frame of mind. I’m sorting through some heart stuff. In the end, with considerable reluctance, I agreed.
In my ‘10 minutes after the Lord’s Prayer,’ I shared how my conviction about having two spiritual hearts, (an irredeemable one inherited from Adam and the other crystal pure from being ‘in Christ’) had freed me to not fear knowing anything and everything about my dark side because my heavenly Father only ever deals with me on the basis of my Son’s-heart. Being certain that with Christ’s heart in me I am utterly secure, I have no need to deny my darkness or pretend anything. The light of the gospel ensures there is always more that I can acknowledge and confess. But I never come under condemnation again. At least not from my heavenly Father. As far as I could determine it seemed to be well received. Duty done I was looking forward to jumping in the car and skedattling over the border into South Oz. My Lord had another idea.
During the next song the song leader (a former Warrambui intern) came around behind me and asked if I would make myself available to pray for people at the end of worship. My answer was a straightforward, ‘No!’ She checked my answer and I shook my head again. Now I don’t know if I’m losing it but I was truly flabbergasted a minute later when she announced to the congregation, with delight in her voice, that ‘Pastor Fred has kindly agreed to be available to pray with anyone who would like to come forward for prayer after worship.’
I spent the next few minutes before the end of service grumbling to my beloved in the pew next to me. Then I spent the next 45 to 50 minutes or so praying with the dozen or so worshippers who stayed behind… some elderly and unwell, some no older than nine or ten, all with deep longings and needs. At some point in there I got over my resentment and realized this had to be a God thing. I have no idea of the impact of my prayers last Sunday, only that I expect amazing stuff because none of it was my idea. Not a cracker. And then there was an interesting event soon after on the road.
We were heading toward the SA border. Coming toward us on a sweeping bend was a ute towing a boat. He was ‘moving’ as they say, and he was well over on my side of the road. He saw me late and wrenched his wheel back to his side. His boat trailer, however, slung out a bit further… I told Rose later that in that instant I’d accepted that we were going to collide.
In the event we missed each other, as Maxwell Smart would say, ‘by that much!’ Kept safe. Why am I telling you this story? To thank you for your prayers for our safety is one answer. To record our thanks and praise to our Father for his protection is another. But there’s something else, and it’s been sitting there for a couple of days. There is a connection between the testimony and prayer at worship and the avoidance of the accident an hour later. I don’t have a clue how that works but I believe that it is true.
Be blessed this week.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

so glad you're safe! Are we surprised that God has a very definite purpose for moving you around the country?

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought you'd get away Jonah!!!!!!

2:55 PM  

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