I remember as a kid watching “This Week in Baseball.” They showed the greatest plays, the incredible catches, and the most embarrassing bloopers.
Sometimes I wish I could view “This Week in Ministry.” I’d love to see the greatest testimony, the incredible life-changing moments, but maybe not the most embarrassing bloopers. I admit, I’ve had a few where I felt like I’d messed up. I missed a chance. I said the wrong thing. (But I think I’d like to see the bloopers of my friend Laura…and I think she’d probably love sharing! She’s the one who offered the “massage” of Jesus once instead of the “message.”)
But to share about that one person whom you’ve prayed for and cried out to God about…and to see their life change. To see them leave behind the idolatry, the abuse, the vices. To see them choose life.
So far, I don’t have many victory stories to share about our work in Pine Hill. Sure, we have our small victories. But we’re still waiting for those big moments. We’ve had the drunk guy that finally showed up sober and he committed to serving the One True God. But a week later he was gone. He had left to find work in the city. When he did finally come back, he was right back in his old vices, with little hope of conquering the demon that kept pulling him back down.
And then there was the Sunday morning that two people prayed, proclaiming Jesus as Lord of their lives. When Clay went to look for them the following week, they were nowhere to be found.
Sometimes we talk about the “Big Screen” when we get to Heaven…you know, watching the Creation or maybe when Elijah was taken up in the chariot. I’m sure it’s just a dream, but wouldn’t it be great? And then to watch those moments when you shared the Gospel with a friend, or a stranger. And then to watch what happened next…how the verses you shared penetrated their heart and they knelt down and cried out the Lord when no one was watching.
It reminds me of the testimony of a friend. He arrived at a church in Texas one night. He was high, but the Word of God penetrated his heart so profoundly that he accepted Christ right then. The pastors at the church never heard or saw him again and never knew the sincerity of his prayer that night. But his life was never the same. He never once turned back to his vices. Instead, he ended up in Mexico as a missionary. Years later one of the pastors from that church in Texas also ended up in Mexico as a missionary. Imagine the surprise when those two met at a Christmas party…
I’m sure that’s what heaven will be like. We’ll meet up with people that we once knew, never having known the impact they had in our lives. And won’t it be beautiful!
And so we carry on, planting seeds and trusting the Lord.