Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grasping the Wind

The wind blows
wherever it will,
and you hear the sound it makes,
but do not know where it comes from
and where it is going.
John 3:8

God moves in mysterious ways, indeed. I just returned from the most incredible weekend. Although I deal with words in my work, I struggle to find words to describe my experience.

Almost 40 years ago during the Jesus Movement of the 70's, a summer youth director travelled to our south Texas coastal town. We were members of a mainline denomination, better able to spout off church history and liturgy than understand the Bible.

Taking the job for experience - but not much money- the youth director spent his first weekend in town closed up in his apartment. His initial visit revealed what he was up against and he spent the weekend fasting and praying for God to move among the spiritually clueless youth.

God heard those prayers. The wind began blowing until it whipped into a firestorm that lit an entire youth group on fire with spiritual fervor that summer. We understood the gospel for the first time and and became dedicated followers of Christ.

When summer ended and our youth director left, we feared that our spiritual light would go with him. We banded together and met to "share scripture" and pray. However, some young people seemed to slip away from walking in the light.

Fast forward thirty-eight years and arrive at my incredible weekend. Thirty of us gathered at the reunion of our youth group. Less than a week before we gathered, someone located the summer youth director through the blessings of the Internet. No one had been in contact with him in over thirty years.

Mingling among the reunion attendees resembled the fellowship we'll experience in heaven. We shared memories but more excitedly we saw the fruit of that one summer-exponentially multiplied through the years. We all agreed that it had been a summer that defined our lives.

Many of those that seemed to be aloof, long ago, to spiritual truth and those that wandered from the faith were the ones who expressed the greatest appreciation for that summer.

The storms of life hit so many over the thirty-eight years. That was when the Word that was planted that summer bore fruit.

There were stories of loss and disappointment and wandering. Stories of God pursuing and remaining faithful in the midst of our journeys. Many of the youth group members chose to become pastors. Many of the children of the youth group members chose to enter the ministry.

Like a single pebble that is dropped in the water--the ripples spread across the surface and bounce back and forth. You could not more predict the pattern of waves than you could grasp the wind.
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8 comments:

  1. Just an incredible story you have shared here today - thank you!

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  2. An incredible story, Rhodema. Those seeds that were planted years ago have born much fruit.

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  3. wow...what an experience to see what's become of the 'seeds' that were planted. and I love love love that last line.

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  4. Great story.Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Virginia

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  5. What a beautiful experiecne! Praise the Lord for all that were able to meet up again.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  6. Wow, Rhodema, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story with us. I agree. God certainly does move in mysterious ways.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  7. Thanks for sharing this lovely testimony .... glimpses of fellowship in heaven. You have a great way with words. I am so grateful to have been around to experience the 70's Jesus Movement....and so glad you did, too!

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