Tuesday, July 18, 2000

A Powerful Encounter

I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 5-6)

Dee and I enjoyed 6 days in Northern California on our honeymoon. We enjoyed the breathtaking views of Monterey, Sausalito, and San Francisco. We were awed by the beauty of Napa Valley, shopped until we dropped in Carmel, and wined and dined each day like we never had before.

But amazingly the most powerful moment of our journey did not take place on the Pacific Coast Highway, "17 Mile Drive," or Golden Gate Bridge. It occurred near the end of our trip as we made our way back to the San Francisco airport. As we drove through the streets of San Francisco, we encountered a beggar at four consecutive lights. With each passing encounter, my heart was moved more and more. One beggar held a sign that read "Even a Smile Helps." Another held a sign that read "God Bless You."

However, it was our encounter with the fourth beggar that pierced my soul. As we sat at the red light, he held his face down, and appeared to be deep in thought or prayer. I began to pray for him, and asked the Lord to touch him and comfort him. I asked the Lord to do the same for each of the 3 beggars we had just whisked by. Seconds later the man lifted his head and with his eyes fixed on mine, I could read his lips as he said "Thank You. God Bless." I can't explain it, but it was as if he knew that I had just prayed for him and each person on that street. He conveyed that loud and clear as he stared straight through my eyes, into my heart, and into my soul.

I thought I was losing my mind for a moment, but Dee confirmed exactly what I just saw. It made me realize that if "Even a Smile Helps" a prayer can help a whole lot more.

Saturday, July 1, 2000

The Wedding Day

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:3-4)

Over the past few months, I've been flipping through the pages of the chapters of my life. I recalled all the good years and all the ones that were thrown away by pain, sorrow, and depression. I cried as I recalled the darkest moment of my life when my desire to live had all but faded away.

However, it was at that darkest moment that I made the most important decision of my life, and that was to trust in the only person I knew who could restore me - Jesus Christ. At that lowest point, I said to Him, "this is now your life to live, for I no longer have the strength to live it."

I felt Christ's presence like never before that night and I could feel Him carry me through. He reminded me of all those that loved me; none more so than He. He asked me to trust in Him and turned my attention to a better day; a day that in all honesty I thought would never come. Thankfully I was wrong. Today that day has come to fruition.

I know a lot of things will be going through my mind as I wait for Dee to meet me at the altar, but I know that night with the Lord will be at the forefront. When I see her face for the first time, I'll be so thankful that I made that decision to trust in Him. When she takes each step down the aisle, each one of those bad chapters of my life will close for all eternity. And when we become husband and wife, I'll know in my heart like never before that I serve a Lord more loving and more powerful than I had ever imagined.