Over the years, I’ve heard some teaching and expounding on the word of God that has left an indelible mark upon my memory. These same teachings have taken up residence in my spirit and have comforted me as I’ve navigated through life. In an attempt to get back on task with writing, today’s post is just me sharing my heart as it relates to the impact a few yielded vessels have made, and their contributions—some knowing, most unknowing—to the woman I am today. It isn’t my birth-anniversary or some other traditionally significant day. It is just time to share; I trust in doing so I will leave a mark on the memory of another who will someday do the same.
Geraldine Thompkins – She is one of many I refer to as a “quiet storm”; soft-spoken, yet her delivery of truth is undeniably anointed. I had the honor of being assigned to her class when I became a new member of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (Washington DC). During one of those sessions, she presented a lesson based upon the passage of scripture found in Psalm 37:4. Simply stated, she said “The reason you can expect to receive the desires of your heart is because God places within your heart that which you should desire, according to His will.” Therefore, as we “delight” or take pleasure in the things of God, He will reward us with a heart full of desires that He alone will bring to pass (read Psa 37:3-5). Prior to Dr. Thompkins’ delivery, I had only understood this passage to mean whatever I desired (wanted) I would receive just because I loved God. In having an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church, through her exposition, I gained a deeper understanding. I now understand that it isn’t dependent upon my love of God, but His love for me; it is much like an earthly parent who presents options to his/her child and with wisdom guides the child to make the right choice out of many.
E. K. Bailey – Now deceased, Dr. Bailey coordinated an annual conference on expository preaching. One spring, as a guest revivalist at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (Washington DC), in the midst of the message he declared, “Since God neither sleeps nor slumbers (Psa 121:4), I might as well go to sleep. There’s no point in both of us being up all night!” I believe I literally slid out of the pew and onto the floor out of sheer joy at being freed from worry. It is amazing how the simplest statement can have such a profound impact in the life of the Believer. It wasn’t just the words, but the confidence Dr. Bailey expressed when he spoke them. His confidence gave me confidence, and I have never forgotten the liberty I received that night. Truly, whom the Son sets free is free, indeed!
Robert Randolph – During one of the most turbulent seasons of my life, Pastor Randolph was used to deliver a message my soul needed. It was 2005, and I had just returned from one of my many “running” episodes—that thing I do when I’m restless to trust God’s timing and want what I want. After completing the requirements for the Master of Education at Cardinal Stritch University, I went into an ungodly state of rebellion. In my defiance, I demanded that God restore to me all I had “sacrificed” (not really, but I had the nerve to fix my heart to think such a thing). Instead of being grateful and humble, I went into “give me my stuff back” mode. At the time, I held a position of leadership in the ministry, but my defiant attitude took me off post, out of order, and out of accountability. The day of my return was the culmination worship service of Christian Abundant Life Ministries’ (CALM, Milwaukee WI) annual youth retreat. Pastor Randolph’s sermon title was “God Knew Who You Were When He Married You.” OMG!!! That, alone, knocked me to my knees in repentance. The fullness of the message brought me to this (forever) conclusion: God is not intimidated by our weaknesses or failed attempts to “get it”. Instead, He compensates for it in His plan for our lives. He loves us through our ugly (read the Old Testament Book of Hosea).
These are just a few of the messages and messengers God has used to shape me and mold me after the image of Christ. Perhaps, on another occasion, I will share more. For now, this is my offering and I am delighted to rest in the confidence of God’s word which never—ever—returns void. My life is the result of His word accomplishing what He sent it to do: enlighten me, revive me, and restore me. Without a doubt, it bears repeating—I am delighted…! –WordsInPrint by Suni