WITHOUT SAYING A WORD Andy Hollifield 4-3-19
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Have you ever been the recipient of an answer to prayer that had not crossed your lips to anyone but God? I mean something that you told absolutely no one except when you prayed in secret to the Lord. Have you ever got to see the answer come for you or someone else? Also, have you ever got to be a part of the answer coming to someone else? I had the privilege on Wednesday to literally be the mailman God used to answer someone else’s prayer. If the truth be known, getting to have a part in God sending an answer is almost as good as getting an answer for your own prayers.
I had taken some Easter baskets, food, and other items to a ministry in Tennessee after dropping off some food at a church in Virginia. I will start with the one in Virginia first. Anyone that has ever pastored a church for even a short amount of time has faced discouragement at one time or another. While unloading those same items at the church, the pastor and I had an opportunity to talk quite a bit. We had met each other on several occasions but there had always been several people present. Wednesday was different because there was only four of us present. As we worked taking boxes of cereal into his church, he began talking about the fact they were praying for revival. He also mentioned that he wished God would send in more people since the church only had twelve. Some of you reading may be thinking that the doors should just be shut but when you are trying to do God’s will above all else, that isn’t an option unless the Lord leads that way.
Before I continue let me mention a hard lesson God taught once while I was filling in for a pastor friend years ago following his surgery. The church I was at was comprised of middle-aged and older people. I was the youngest one other than my wife and son. They had no Wednesday night service but had Sunday morning and Sunday night. Sunday morning was fine with around 20-25 people or more most weeks. Sometimes it would be considerably less but usually around that number. Sunday night however was usually around 10 or 12. I went to my home church one Wednesday night so beat down and discouraged, I couldn’t see any point in going on. The only thing that kept me from telling them I couldn’t come back again was that the pastor was a very dear friend of mine that had always used me as his go-to preacher. We had started preaching only months apart even though he was probably 40 years older than me. I could not stand the thoughts of letting him down. As I was saying, I went to the altar that Wednesday night and begged God with everything in me not to make me go back. While I was praying that selfish prayer, God changed the entire focus of my ministry with one question. He said, “I feed you when you come by yourself don’t I?” After repenting and asking for grace and for a message for Sunday morning that would be a help to those people, I kind of almost crawled back to my seat. I was ashamed for anyone to even know I had asked God such a thing. That changed the rest of my life in ministry. I then started seeing God’s people like Christ wanted Peter to see them; as sheep. Sheep are dependant on the shepherd to provide everything. Since that night I have always believed it was my job to have something from the Lord that the people present needed. I began to be concerned whether or not someone was going away from God’s table still hungry. I hadn’t said anything about that to anyone but God gave my answer right away and left no doubt it was from him.
I began to tell my new pastor friend about the two years I had pastored. Like him, I loved my people. I told him that I had five and sometimes six plus my wife and son and I. If we hit double digits I was thrilled out of my mind. Regardless of what I seen God doing, I did my best to make sure they went away from the Lord’s house in better shape than they came in. I also mentioned that my deacon was a mortician and if he got called before service time for a body removal, he had to go and that left me to be singing leader, Sunday school teacher, usher, and if he wife wasn’t there; the piano player. I still love those folks and I wouldn’t take anything for my time there. Now I am not sure what part of that was an encouragement to him but this pastor told me he was glad I had come that day and he really appreciated me telling him that. I didn’t know how discouraged he had been but I left there believing God might have sent me just to be a help to him.
When I got down to Tennessee and began to unload, I took a small envelope to the lady there and told her that the people who sent her the supplies had told me to be sure and hand it to her myself. She put it in her pocket until we finished our work. Now let me mention that this lady is scheduled to have a hip replacement in a few weeks and is barely able to walk with a cane. She happened to mention that she had to have 320.00 by the day of the surgery or it would be cancelled. Like most of us, she didn’t have that kind of money lying around. When we were through, she opened the envelope. It contained 280.00 of the 320.00 she needed. Before we all left, she had the other 40.00 to cover her entire part. She stood there on the porch crying tears of joy about how God supplied her need and she hadn’t even mentioned it to anyone. Talk about joy! Just to get to be the one God allowed to carry that envelope to her and get to be a partaker of her joy was a truly great blessing. It was one of those days when God made himself real to you at every turn. Needless to say, I went home in far better shape than I had come be cause I had gotten something from the Lord.
Unfortunately, every day isn’t like this day was. In the Lord’s work, you sometimes feel like you are riding high and other times like you’ve been rode hard and put up wet. But, even on those days, it is good to know that God can send someone out of nowhere to be a blessing and help to you. Regardless of which situation you may find yourself in right now, isn’t it a blessing to know that God knows right where you are and just what you need and when you need to have it? He sees you through the darkness of your storm even when you just can’t see him. He will also send an answer even if you haven’t said a word. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!