Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Note on the Sovereignty of God

I have been preaching revival at a small church this week. My profile says that the church I pastor is on the backside of nowhere. This little church, that averages about forty, is on the backside of the backside of nowhere.

Tonight after the service I had the opportunity to talk to a young man in the army, about my age, who will be deploying back to Iraq for a second tour in about a month. He has already spent eight months and will spend about that long again. I told him that my brother was doing advanced training and would soon be at Fort Hood in Texas (he is on leave for two weeks and at home right now). This sergeant said, "Really?"

I responded, "Yes sir."

"Get me all his information. When he deploys, which is highly likely, he will be in my division. I'll look out for him."

From his tone, the way he was holding his sleeping son, the way he gripped his wife's hand, told me that he was as serious as a heart attack. He wasn't just saying it to make conversation and then told me the best way to contact him. I nearly broke down and wept. I am about to now. Imagine that; I'm a little country preacher preaching a revival at a little insignificant church that no one on earth knows about but this little handful of saints. And my brother will be deployed in the same division as this man. Only God works out things like this.

And the even more amazing thing about it is he promised it after he heard me preach! ;)

6 comments:

Les Puryear said...

Tony,

Just because you're in a small church (attendance-wise), please do not for one minute think you and the saints in your local body of Christ are unimportant, irrelevant, or inferior in the Kingdom of God.

The SBC has a greater number of churches just like you than we have mega-churches. While you labor in perceived anonymity as opposed to the glory of a mega-church pastor, you are great in the Kingdom of God. Thank you for your service to God's people and His kingdom purposes.

Regards,

Les

Tony said...

Les,

Thanks. I wasn't looking for accolades; I simply phrased it that way to juxtapose my insignificance with the glory of a sovereign and almighty God who works things out in ways we fail to anticipate or even imagine.

In actuality, the post wasn't meant to be self-deprecatory. The orchestration of my anxiety about my brother potentially deploying there and then meeting a sergeant preparing to take a second tour was just all my soul could comprehend.

Plus, to hear his determination to seek my brother out and take him under his wing, well, that was just God answering a prayer in an unanticipated way! God really caught me off-guard last night.

christy said...

Isn't it wonderful how God displays His love for us? It really touched my heart too, Tony, that you were able to meet this man.
We definitely serve a loving God!

God's blessings-
Christy

Tony said...

Hi Christy--

Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

The longer I follow God the more surprises I see He has for us. I was completely caught off guard last night.

My brother and my mom (especially my mom!!!)will be glad to hear about this when I talk with them tomorrow.

Elder's Wife said...

Hi Tony-
God sure is good, isn't He?
We just got back from a Small Church Pastor's Conference in Illinois...and we are from a church of about 40 people. There will be another one hosted by RHMA http://www.rhma.org/ in Lancaster, PA, from May 14-16. Check it out. It could be a real encouragement to you, just as it was to us.
God is doing wonderful things in the "backwater" of life. Kent and Barbara Hughes and Ron and Roxy Klassen will be speakers (both were at this week's conference). They are real people & I think they'd be a real blessing to you.
Kat

Tony said...

Hello Kat,

Thanks for stopping by and the link. I will check it out and let you know what I think.