Gary was a friend of my dads when I was a kid. He is a man’s man. I remember him as a hunter and a fisherman. He drove a big 4X4 truck. Basically he was into everything that little boys like. More important than all of that Gary took time to connect with me and my brothers. This is what gave him the opportunity to speak into our lives, at least into mine. The ultimate culmination of this was during a weekend service when Gary was obedient to God’s call and stepped up to deliver the message during a weekend service one week.
My father was the Pastor of the churches I group up in. He was the pastor of the church that Gary spoke in on that Sunday. In the week prior to this fateful Sunday my father had struggled over two different messages that he felt lead to share. As Sunday grew closer he shared this struggle with Gary, not sharing the actual content of the messages. Sunday morning came and my father was still unsure what he was going to preach that morning. Gary approached my dad and said that he had a message the he believed God wanted him to share with the church. My father stepped aside and let Gary have the pulpit that Sunday. When Gary stepped up to the microphone he had my undivided attention. It turned out that the message Gary delivered was one of the two that my father had struggled over. Point my point Gary covered everything that my father had planned to cover. Because of Gary’s investment in my life, I listened to a message that I might have ignored had my father delivered it. I received salvation that day.
You see, it wasn’t that my father did anything wrong, or that he would have delivered the message any differently. I think that all parents would prefer that their kids would talk to them and listen to them the way that I listened to Gary that day. The truth is, however, that this simply isn’t true as often as we would like. Gary took time to connect with me prior to that day. He became my friend. He invested in my life. Because of his investment in my life, he was given the opportunity to speak into my life. I thank Gary for the time he took to invest in me. I thank him for being obedient to God’s leading. I thank him for taking advantage of the opportunity he was given to speak into my life. As I look back my life would never have been the same without Gary and without that Sunday that he preached in “big church.”
This is MY story.
What’s Your Story?Matt Norman
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