I feel very close to you today, and to God. It is 5 am and I am soon to leave for Mexico for a week. But I wanted to share with you a very momentous event which took place in my life in 1951 on this dateâ€”also a Sunday.
During the night and early hours of that Sunday I wrestled with God about going into ministry. I argued that I was afraid of people, couldn’t speak, was a poor student on probation at college, and I didn’t respect the pastors who had served at my local church. So why was God calling me to be a pastor??
I was sure that there were many more qualified young men who should be asked to be pastorsâ€”"God, are you sure that you have the correct phone number??"
I was on a college choir trip. We were in Topeka, Kansas to sing that Sunday morning April 1st when God had arranged an earache which kept me awake in great pain. Along with the trauma of this physical pain, I had been bothered for several weeks with a ministry questionâ€”should I be a pastor, or not?? But I was determined not to go into the ministryâ€”since I had seen so many "phonies" in my local church.
The next morning I wasn't sure if I had just dreamed this, or what--but the week-long ear ache was gone.
So in the night, with great pain, I agonized over what to do as God kept nagging me. Finally I got out of bed and on my knees said "Yes" to Godâ€”if He would give me a sign that Pastoring was really His will for me. The sign I asked for was that God would take away my ear ache and let me sleep.
Well, I don’t even remember getting back into bed, I was asleep so quickly.
The next morning I wasn’t sure if I had just dreamed this, or whatâ€”but the week-long ear ache was gone. I tried to tell other people on the choir trip about what had happened, but they all seemed too busy. So we sang that morningâ€”and I never told anyoneâ€”yet God was nagging me to speak up about my decision.
That noon we ate a pot luck dinner with the church people and all of their teens. After the lunch the pastor asked us each to share where we grew up, what year we were in collegeâ€”and what God had called us to do.
This was the only time on this two week trip that we had been asked to tell what God was preparing us to do for our life’s work. God had trapped me into speaking out. When my turn came I told of my earacheâ€”which all of the choir members knew about, and my wrestling with God during the last weeks. Then I shared my prayer time in the night culminating with my yielding to God to serve Him as a Pastor.
God took an inner city kid who had very little academic ability and led me into Pastoring, academic teaching, writing books, radio and TV ministries, and a world-wide ministry to people. But for all these years I have worried if I would be able to do what God had called me to do. But here I am years laterâ€”and God has been faithful. He promised me during college that "He would never leave me nor forsake me"â€”and He hasn’t!!
God also promised that He would continue the process of growth in me until the day Jesus returnsâ€”and He still is causing me to growâ€”maybe more in these years than ever before in my life.
Trust Him for the unbelievable--He is able!
So my counsel to youâ€”my daughters, sons-in-laws, grandchildren, and friendsâ€”is, "Trust God with all you heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding" in all of life’s situations. God is alive and well and will "never leave any of youâ€”or give up working in all of your lives.
Trust Him for the unbelievableâ€”He is able!!
I love you allâ€”and just wanted you to know about this date in my historyâ€”and in your history also. Later that same fall I would meet Sally Christon who would become your mother and grandmother.
(An interesting sidenote is that the very night of my wrestling with God, my Grandmother Mary and a woman friend of hers prayed all night that I would make the right decision.)
by Jim Conway, Ph.D.
Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only, ©2011 Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors. Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.
Conway / Farrel Articles ~ Reprint by permission only, ©2011
Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com
The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.
Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.