GOD STORIES Pt. 1 Andy Hollifield 9-23-18
Jeremiah 32:27 Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing to hard for thee:
If you read on in this chapter, you will see that Jeremiah starts naming off in detail a lot of the miracles and deliverances that God had performed throughout Israel’s history up to that point. He speaks especially of the plagues and deliverance from Egypt. He also spoke of how at Israel refused to be obedient to the Lord’s commands even after they went in and possessed the promised land. All of that is recorded in scripture for all to read, but I want to share a few personal stories that I like to call God Stories. I forget who I first heard call them that but I thought it summed it up pretty good.
I had the privilege of spending some time Friday evening with a dear friend of mine, missionary Arnold Worley. I have known Arnold for over 20 years. He is the founder and operator of Transporters For Jesus in Marion, NC. Arnold is a humble man and would tell you that God is the founder and he is, but he used Arnold to step out on faith and begin the work. For twenty years, Arnold’s mission work is to move missionaries and pastors to and from the field where God has placed them. Arnold can tell more God Stories than me because he lives them almost every day.
I have mentioned his second truck that we prayed back from Biloxi, Mississippi to Black Mountain, NC about 19 years ago when Arnold lived in Black Mountain. When we had left on our trip on Friday, his truck was making a noise that you could barely hear. By the time we reached Biloxi that evening, it sounded like a washing machine that was about to fly all to pieces. Arnold said “I will drive it till it quits” and the next day after we unloaded, we started for home. We made it through downtown Atlanta on a Saturday afternoon going faster than we should have, and he made it all the way home. On Monday, the truck had to be hauled to the shop because it wouldn’t start. The diagnosis was that five of the eight cylinders were blown and would have cost several thousand to repair. The truck had well over 200,000 miles on it but the dealer gave him the trade in value as if the truck was in perfect condition when in fact it wouldn’t have been worth fixing. Completing the trip was enough of a God Story, but to get a deal like he got from the dealer; that just don’t happen.
I had a God Story happen to me just this past Friday. While getting ready to go to Fayetteville, NC for hurricane relief, I went to Sams Club to purchase two pallets of water. I couldn’t pick them up until Wednesday and they couldn’t hold them more than 24 hours. I made plans to go pay for them on Tuesday but God had a plan of his own that was much better. I received a call from Davy Crockett High School in Jonesborough, Tn. The gentleman that called said that they had been collecting relief supplies and wanted to give them to someone to take east. He had gotten Arnold’s number from the side of his trailer while it was sitting in a field in Erwin, Tn. He had hauled a gospel tent over there there for Pastor Davy Shelton who was going to conduct a meeting there. Arnold told the man that he knew someone going east and either me or him would come Monday to pick up the stuff. Here I was about to buy two pallets of water not knowing that God already had them bought and paid for and all I had to do was pick them up. Now that is a God Story.
I wrote recently about our backpack project this year and one backpack in particular. One little girl that I knew needed a backpack and knowing her life story like I do, I wanted to do something extra special for her. I sent word to find out what her favorite color was and also what kind of characters or whatever that she liked. Word came back that she liked Unicorns and her favorite color was blue. My wife and I went through nearly 500 backpacks and found one with a Unicorn. We only had one more backpack with a small Unicorn on it. But, by now you can probably guess what color the one with the big Unicorn was; it was blue. Out of over 500 backpacks we only had one blue one with a Unicorn. We may not have known about that backpack until we were setting up for our project, but God had that one packed just for that little girl by the folks at Help 4 Kids in Myrtle Beach, SC weeks earlier. You just can’t make this stuff up and you definitely can’t explain it away.
I have also written about our Tweety truck that God gave our ministry. One Sunday night I was preaching in Burnsville, NC. Before I preached, the pastor asked me to give them an update on our ministry. I announced the backpack project and also mentioned the three things I wanted our ministry to accomplish over the next couple of years. The first priority was to get the Gideon Home For Unwed Mothers open and we are currently still seeking the place God wants it to be. The second was to hopefully build a ministry warehouse on my property where we can not only store stuff but also do our projects. The third I told them was kind of a far off pipe dream I had. I told them that I had driven by a truck in Asheville and stopped and looked at it and even prayed about it. God had never given me liberty to enquire about it. After preaching, a man came up and said, “If you need a truck, I have one I will give you.” He told me it was just a closed van and that I could stop on my way home and look at it. I thought it was probably a small cargo van like I already have. As I pulled up in his driveway I saw a 24 foot, old, yellow, Ryder rental truck. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The third thing on my list was the first thing on God’s list.
I could tell a bunch more but I want to mention another one that happened recently. A lady I know had just switched her heating system from an oil furnace to a heat pump. She had a full barrel of oil and asked if I knew anyone that needed it and could come and get it. She was willing to give it away but I told her I would try to sell it for her. About 2 weeks after that, Arnold was telling me that he needed to fill his oil barrel. I told him I knew where some was at for a very good price and he jumped on it. Not only did this lady wind up helping a missionary, but the money she made helped pay a doctor bill for her.
Arnold had some people in Charleston, SC I believe it was, offer to put graphics on his trailer as a donation to his work. A few weeks later at one of his fuel stops in Missouri, he noticed a young lady standing outside and looking like she just lost her best friend. As he started a conversation, she asked if that was his trailer and what it was he done. Arnold told her and witnessed to her about how the Lord had saved him and blessed him. She wound up asking him to pray for her and he witnessed to her a little more and told her she needed to be saved. They wound up praying right outside at that fuel stop and she got born again right there. Because of those folks in Charleston being faithful, a girl in Missouri got born again and folks in Fayetteville are going to receive water from Tennessee because a man saw the number on Arnold’s trailer. I know this has been long but it is hard to stop when you start telling the things that God does that other folk don’t see in our ministry. There is nothing that gets my blood pumping like a good God Story and there truly is nothing too hard for God!!! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!