Sometimes in ministry it is easy to forget why you do what you do! You can get lost in numbers…reports…meetings….visions for future….problem solving….frustrations over stupid stuff….You get the picture…we all face it no matter what occupation we find ourselves in!
Yesterday I received a call from a sweet NorthStar family whose mom was passing away at Kennestone Hospital. Due to my schedule I could not get right down there and one of our staff pastors, Robert Ledbetter, went to be with them. He called me shortly after lunch to let me know that she had passed and that it might be good if I got down to meet with them. Little did I know the story that I was walking in to!
I met Tim at the door of his mom’s room and he took me inside and began to tell me her story. “Penny” had lived a full life and made so much of the life that she had been blessed with! Though she had done so many great things for so many people, she was not into or a part of church or religion. Tim and his family began to invite his 80 year old mom to come with them to NStar and finally she agreed to come when she found out that the most common illustrations were one’s of sports and she loved sports (glad to know something good comes from my lame illustrations & stories)
Out in the crowd for the past 5 weeks I had noticed a wheel chair with a precious 80 year old lady sitting beside her son to my left. This past Sunday….3 days before she passed, this sweet, precious lady asked “for forgiveness for her sins and for Jesus to come into her heart” in our 11am service. When Tim told me this story, I was overwhelmed…..I could not talk about this last night due to being overwhelmed with God’s sovereignty and His plan!! I am SO thankful that 3 months ago – we put notes down for a series and we knew that we would talk that Sunday about forgiveness…..God knew that Penny, an 80 year old in a wheelchair, would be there with her son & his family and the Sunday would be for her!! Tim went on to tell me that she was going to her young neighbors this week to invite them to come with her to church since we talked about bringing our “friends” with us next week! Tim is going to invite them to come in honor of his mom!
This is why I do what I do! This is why I have loved living in one area for 19 years and seeing kids in my youth group come to know the Lord….get to do their wedding service, dedicate their children and now getting to see their children grow up! All the while being a part of church that I would go to even if I did not work there!
Thank you God for Penny and thank you for using her story to inspire me!!