I had been a Christian for a few months. Like many of us, I was young, radical, totally devoted and driven by miracles. I lived every waking moment expecting something from my heavenly Father.
Do you remember what life was like prior to meeting Christ? How every step, every decision, each day that unfolded was under the control of your carnal nature? Remember ungodly friends who didn't care and being influenced by a power you didn't understand? Regardless, we followed the devil with unwavering abandonment. The blind leading the blind. We were heading for the ditch.
Then everything changed as heaven invaded our souls. Remember? Of course you do. Most of us were complete wrecks either in this sinful world or lost in religion. It's a miracle we made it through. Thank God! What a change! "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
I am certain there are those who need to read a simple word about trust. Especially today. You've experienced some setbacks, and your faith has been challenged. The following may help bring your life back into alignment. Oftentimes when we venture down the road of our lives, we'll see signs—roadside markers—that remind us of spiritual moments, times of great encouragement. I did that this morning.
My craving for immediate attention from Jesus came early. Life was now energized from above. It seemed that every need was met before my asking, as if myriad angels overlooked my life, waiting to serve. Of course, I took immediate advantage of this newfound rush of faith.
One of my first, most demanding requests was while sitting with 20 former drug addicts in a Teen Challenge home. Suddenly one of the men flew into our living room and, in agony, screamed out, "We're out of toilet paper! Gone! Not one square left!"
Twenty men. A crisis. Another detail. No money to buy any. This was a faith ministry all the way to toilet paper.
A quick call to the director produced absolutely nothing but one challenge: "Men, get on your face and pray."
Of course. Why didn't I think of that? Pray for toilet paper. So we did. We filled the corridors of heaven.
Long story much shorter. Six blocks away, another young Christian man was having devotions when the Lord broke into his silence, spoke clearly and said there was an emergency at the men's home: They needed toilet paper, now.
He sped to the bathroom, grabbed a roll, flew down the street, banged on the door, delivered the goods, shared the story, walked away and left us all stunned.
Of course, everyone has unusual stories to tell. This one may be hard to believe, but it's true. After all, the Bible says, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). What do you not understand about the word all?
This one little heavenly connection started a chain of "belief moments" that span over 35 years.
This one little roadside marker could help many of us today.The question for all believers is: Has anything really changed?
Yes, now the needs are different. I buy toilet paper but believe Him for more eternal needs—such as the physical healing of others and myself, finances, souls to be saved. Over the years, we've needed land and buildings worldwide to start churches. My wife, Jeri, and I would cry out for His provision.
My faith is stronger then ever, but my focus has matured. I'm still His child, but I'm now one of His laborers.
Permit me, please, to close with a simple devotional thought.
I woke up this morning with an incredible appreciation for the One who has kept me, provided for me, watched over my family and has never left me alone. His promises continue to come true. The seemingly unsurpassable mountains continue to melt at His command: "The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it" (Nahum 1:5). Oh, how I love that Scripture.
Stay in that place of childlike dependence. He is the refuge in the midst of life's disappointments. A view of the problem from Gods perspective changes everything. He knows when we need toilet paper.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon