I admit it. I confess that the Lord regularly teaches me the same lesson over and over again. And, for some unexplainable reason, so often, I still don’t get it!!
What lesson did the Lord again remind me of this time? Simply this. God graciously uses PastorServe. God kindly uses me. But – God doesn’t need PastorServe and God certainly doesn’t need Jimmy Dodd. God has used donkeys and worms to accomplish his purposes. And, he reminds us that the rocks can cry out in praise of our wondrous God.
One of the great lessons of my summer was learned in Haiti. I was with a team of thirty-two when we arrived in the small mountain village of Marmalade. Isaac, the pastor of the church had asked me to preach to his congregation. He said that his church would love to hear a new voice.
I prayed passionately the night before and the morning of the worship service. “God, use me. Use this message. I don’t know how clearly the Gospel message has been proclaimed in Marmalade. Allow my words to touch many hearts”.
The next morning, the worship service was packed. As two hundred crowded into the small open air structure, another two hundred gathered outside. I continued to pray for the Lord to use my words to touch many hearts.
The church launched into what I have come to know and love as typical Haitian worship. Heartfelt, passionate, sincere, loud, lengthy and joyful. In fact, Haitians worship with such intense joy, you would think that they had forgotten about their poverty. Worship is regularly led by musicians playing instruments which look like they have been through a flood, a couple of hurricanes and an earthquake (which they have). As the worship neared its conclusion – my prayers intensified. Then – something amazing happened.
A group of Haitians came through the side door while another came from the back of the church. They walked together to the altar at the front of the church where they were met by Pastor Isaac. I noticed that a number of them were in tears. I asked my translator what was happening. He joined the gathering and then returned to tell me that a number of people had felt prompted to come forward to publically confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
How was that possible? I hadn’t preached. “It is going to be really hard to take credit for this when I return to Kansas City” I thought.
I concluded the spiritual air was thick with the presence of the Holy Spirit. In fact, if people were coming to trust Jesus before I preached – just wait until after I preached the Gospel – which I did with all my heart. And following my amazing message – Zero! Nothing! Everyone who trusted in Jesus that day expressed their need for a Savior before I had uttered one word!!
At that moment God gently whopped me upside the head with a spiritual 2×4 and reminded me that my prayer should have been – Lord – glorify yourself. By whatever means – allow the worship service to lift your name high that people may see the glory of God. And – that is what God did! He didn’t need me!!
At PastorServe, our passion is to serve the Lord by serving pastors. But, we acknowledge that God can use any means, any ministry, anyone to bless pastors. Our prayer is, “Lord, may pastors across America and the world receive care, support and encouragement, and, should you graciously choose to use PastorServe, that would be a gift.
Thank you for caring for pastors. PastorServe couldn’t move forward to extend care to pastors without your faithful prayer support and generous financial support. Thank God that he has chosen to use this ministry – when he can do just fine without PastorServe.
Humbled and Amazed by the Grace of the Lord Jesus,