THIS PRESENT EVIL Andy Hollifield 7-22-18
Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
I wasn’t sure whether to title this article, “This Present Evil” or “A Good Indication.” Has anyone ever noticed that when you start trying to do good, it seems that you get slammed with obstacles, hindrances, nuisances, irritations, aggravations, malfunctions, and any other word you can come up with. I guess really that “aggravation” is just as good a word as any to describe the situation. It is kind of like a gnat buzzing around your ear or eye when you are trying to work on something or have a conversation with someone. It isn’t devastating or life threatening but it easily distracts you from your purpose. Those times come in the ministry also and it is often a good indication that you are on the right track.
I have always heard it said that if the devil ain’t bothering you, it must be because you aren’t bothering him. I have decided that I must have really ticked him off lately. I know that nothing comes in your life that God doesn’t allow but sometimes you just want to shake your head and say “What’s next?” You try not to do that because you are afraid you will find out. I know I just mentioned a principle from Job about God allowing trials but I am in no way comparing my issues of late to him. His was real problems and like I said, mine are aggravations. For the last year since we announced our plans to open the Gideon Home, the devil has waged war against us. In one respect, I am thankful that our ministry is doing enough to get his attention but I can do without his. I won’t get into everything but the devil took it up a notch after I got acquainted with Help 4 Kids. I am grateful for them and they have been a tremendous blessing to our ministry and I am thankful to be able to be a part of theirs.
I am convinced that if you want to have mechanical problems or sickness or the afore-mentioned aggravations, start doing something for the Lord. I am thankful that God let me get into mission work after I got older and had a little bit of life experience as well as having had time to grow spiritually beforehand. Now when things come it is kind of like; “OK, here we go again” and you just prepare yourself through prayer and get ready. I want to mention just a few of those aggravations, not for pity, but to help you understand the story.
About two months ago I ordered a clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing for my little diesel tractor. After getting a “YouTube” crash course in farm tractor mechanics, I began taking it apart. The more I watched, the more I began to think I was in over my head considering that I am not a mechanic. To make a long story short, I eventually got my tractor reassembled and after leaving out a 50 cent screw that caused a hydraulic leak and racked my brain for a couple of days, it was time for a test drive. Needless to say when I drove it to the driveway and scraped the ruts out, I was thrilled. I even told my wife that I was so tickled that I was going to drive it through the neighborhood and wave like I was in a parade. I believe right after I started the tractor, the ministry van had to be hauled to a shop with a locked up starter after it left me stranded at Staples. You would think that a starter would last more than 238,000 miles but it didn’t. Even then, the Lord had a man from my church there that morning and he took me to my mom’s house on his way back home. Preacher Terry Sprouse took the van to his shop and gave me a good deal on fixing it. It was also during one of the trips to SC that my serpentine belt broke and we spent five hours on the side of the interstate in Newberry, SC. In that time, God sent five people by to offer help. One lady brought water and Gatorade since it was 95 degrees, and a good Christian gentleman gave me a ride to the parts store and even found me a mechanic to fix my truck and both refused pay. Two other people stopped and one asked if we had help coming and another asked if we had water. Five is the number of grace by the way.
Shortly after that, I had to put a V-tec solenoid on my wife’s car and of course it was on the backside of the motor and aggravating to get to. This was after it had overheated and left me sitting in Weaverville waiting on it to cool down so it would start. I got through that one. Shortly after that she mentioned that her brakes were making a noise. When I drove it, it sounded like you were dragging everything out from underneath of it. Pads, rotors, and calipers later, it is again doing fine other than needing a tune-up. Prior to the brake job, on a trip back from Myrtle Beach our truck had the ABS light come on and spit and sputtered so bad and ran so slow, the flies following a garbage truck could have passed us. It was apparently some bad fuel that created sludge in the tank or something cause I am still dealing with that one. After replacing the rear ABS sensor, thanks to “YouTube” and replacing the fuel filter for the second time in three weeks, we made a trip to Sneedville, Tn. to a ministry there. The truck ran like a scalded dog until we were on the way back. ABS like came back on and started missing again and by the time we go to the state line it was pretty bad. I prayed our way through the gorge and stopped at Canton and fueled and apparently took care of most of the missing. Fortunately, I had already ordered front wheel sensors so that will be this weeks project.
But, during all of that, God provided a bunch of toys to distribute to some of our agencies, all of the backpacks and stuff to put in them, a lot of peanut butter and Cheerios that we were able to help some of our agencies and a church food distribution with, and even made a trip to Christ’ Hands in Kentucky and took some to them. I also brought back about two dozen cases of rice and pasta meals that we were able to give to our agencies and even to both offices of Help 4 Kids. It was also during that time that God blessed us with the Tweety truck and a nice metal desk from Ridgeview BC as well as having several opportunities to preach in different places. I have also been blessed to meet some of the most wonderful folks that you could ever hope to meet. Plus, we are also waiting for word on a possible property for the home. We have been blessed with so much in the last few months that we had to rent a storage unit till we can get it all distributed. God had even let us have a little savings so we didn’t have to go head over heels in debt at the parts houses.
I have seen the time that I would have been blown out of the water by some of the aggravations we have had in recent weeks. I am not meaning to sound like I am complaining. I have got tired of having wrenches in my hand so much but I am thankful that God has given me the ability to do what I can. These things have just been some of the fiery darts of the devil and God has allowed us to withstand all of them and even blessed beyond measure in the midst of it all. Paul said in Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” I will even go a step further. I know without a doubt that the sufferings of this present time and this present evil, can’t even begin to compare with the glory that has already been revealed to us and for us. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!