This true story, which I heard a long time ago, came to mind this past Wednesday:
One particular Sunday morning, there was a terrible snowstorm. The pastor of a community church did not know what to do about the service. His wife encouraged him to cancel because no one would be coming out in the horrendous weather, but in reflection, the pastor did not feel right to do that, so he went ahead to the church and prepared for the service. Only two young boys were in attendance that day, and after the sermon, both boys came forward and said they wanted to become Christians. The pastor knelt at the altar with those boys and led them to Christ. One of them was the pastor's son.
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Wednesday morning greeted the Greater Kansas City area with two inches of snow -- a mere dusting after the blizzard conditions of a week ago, but it made the drive to Bible Study Fellowship slippery and tense. By the time I arrived at the church, the administrative team was shuffling and moving small groups (so no one would have to cross the parking lot to meet in an adjacent building), the whole time being bombarded with questions as class members and visitors arrived. The lobby was crowded and noisy with ladies picking up lessons for friends who didn't brave the bad weather. A bit 'shell shocked' and "rattled" is how one administrative leader described us.
The entire time our teaching leader (JS) felt pulled and pressed, thinking, "Why didn't I just cancel?" Group leaders meet for pre-prayer, but J couldn't escape the chaos to get to the room. Hurrying, she said her heart "pounded with nervousness, but when I walked through the door, it was like I entered the throne room of heaven. I did in a way because we were in the presence of our great God! All that tension left, and tears of relief and comfort just flowed out of me. I was so touched and humbled by the grace of God and all of the leaders' tender, precious prayers! It was beautiful and just what I needed; probably what we all needed."
I shared the story about the pastor and his son with JS, and we agreed God reminds us that He is sovereign over snowy roads, icy parking lots, crowded classrooms, ticking clocks and upset plans. His purposes will be accomplished no matter how chaotic things appear.
We learned through the study of Isaiah that comfort means "with strength," and JS concludes, "That's exactly what I received during those few minutes in prayer with you all. The 'chaos' was over in my heart, and I could face the rest of the morning with His strength. Just like that pastor found out one Sunday morning . . . if one person was touched by the Lord Wednesday morning, then that wildness was worth it all!"
Thanks to JS for allowing me to use the text she wrote in an email message to create this post.