The Lord has amazing ways of using us for His purposes if only we make
ourselves available to Him. Many times we have our own thoughts of how
God can use us, but if we change our thinking and allow God to do as He
pleases, the Lord will do extraordinary things with the most ordinary of
people. I am a living witness to this fact. (1 Corinthians 1:25-29)
I encourage you to make yourself available to be used of the Lord. God is
infinite in His wisdom and unchanging in His love so you trust Him to lead
you onto the best path for your life. The Lord is seeking surrendered
vessels so you be encouraged and allow Him to bring greatness from your vessel.
I hope this message encourages your heart to seek the Lord’s will for your
life and allow Him to use you all the days of your life. You truly haven't
lived until you've lived for the Lord.
I spent the week before my daughter's June wedding running my final trips
to the caterer, florist, tuxedo shop, and the church about forty miles
away. As happy as I was that Patsy was marrying a good Christian young
man, I felt laden with responsibilities as I watched my budget dwindle...
so many details, so many bills and so little time. My son Jack was away
at college, but he said he would be there to walk his younger sister down
the aisle, taking the place of his dad who had died a few years before.
He teased Patsy, saying he'd wanted to give her away since she was about
three years old!
To save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who had large
magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white blooms and slick green leaves
would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the church.
After the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, we banked the
podium area and choir loft with magnolias. As we left just before
midnight, I felt tired but satisfied this would be the best wedding any
bride had ever had! The music, the ceremony, the reception - and
especially the flowers - would be remembered for years.
The big day arrived - the busiest day of my life - and while her bride’s
maids helped Patsy to dress, her fiancé Tim, walked with me to the
sanctuary to do a final check. When we opened the door and felt a rush of
hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them - all the beautiful white
flowers were black. Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night
had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot summer day,
the flowers had wilted and died.
I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our hometown,
gather more flowers, and return in time for the wedding. Tim turned to
me. “Edna, can you get more flowers? I'll throw away these dead ones and
put fresh flowers in these arrangements.”
I mumbled, “Sure,” as he be-bopped down the hall to put on his cuff links.
Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the
arched ceiling. “Lord,” I prayed, “please help me. I don't know anyone in
this town. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers - in a hurry!”
I scurried out praying for four things: the blessing of white magnolias,
courage to find them in an unfamiliar yard, safety from any dog that may
bite my leg, and a nice person who would not get out a shotgun when I
asked to cut his tree to shreds. As I left the church, I saw magnolia
trees in the distance. I approached a house...no dog in sight. I knocked
on the door and an older man answered. So far so good...no shotgun. When
I stated my plea the man beamed, “I'd be happy to!” He climbed a
stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me.
Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said,
“Sir, you've made the mother of a bride happy today.”
“No, Ma'am,” he said. “You don't understand what's happening here.”
“What?” I asked.
“You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I
received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday.” He paused. I saw
tears welling up in his eyes. “On Wednesday I buried her.” He looked
away. “On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on
Friday - yesterday - my children left.”
“This morning,” he continued, “I was sitting in my den crying out loud. I
miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as her health got worse, she
needed me. But now nobody needs me. This morning I cried, 'Who needs an
eighty-six-year-old worn-out man? Nobody! 'I began to cry louder.
'Nobody needs me!' About that time, you knocked, and said, “'Sir, I need you.'”
I stood with my mouth open.
He asked, “Are you an angel? The way the light shone around your head
into my dark living room”
I assured him I was no angel.
He smiled. “Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?”
“I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I might have a flower
ministry! I could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral
home have no flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have
lots of them. They're all over the backyard. I can give them to hospitals,
churches - all sorts of places. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going
to serve the Lord until the day He calls me home!”
I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy's wedding day, if
anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have
said, “Forget it! It's my only daughter's wedding, for goodness' sake!
There is no way I can minister to anyone today.” But God found a way.
Through dead flowers.
“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you
cope with it is what makes the difference.”
By Edna Ellison
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Hebrews 13:1-3 “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain
strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember
them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer
adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
Romans 12:15-18 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them
that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things,
but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of
all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with
Philippians 2:3-7 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in
lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not
every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the
form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself
of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in
the likeness of men.”
Galatians 6:2-4 “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of
Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he
deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he
have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today’s Selected Poem: REACHING OUT
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem153.htm
Today’s Selected Testimony: CARRIE'S TESTIMONY
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony79.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry