Chapter 8 I Don’t Know
The church I was on staff with called me to help another church. The people there had started praying for a young man and he had become violent. The Associate Pastor led me to the counseling room in the basement of the church. There were three or four people gathered around a young man. They looked at me when I entered like I was the cavalry. I did not want to disrupt their faith by telling them I did not have a clue what was going to happen. I prayed the prayer I heard John Wimber say he prayed at times like these, “Help!”
The young man was in his late twenties. He had dirt smeared on the right side of his face. He was dressed like he was homeless. He was babbling and talking incoherently. I was able to pray and stop this. His story was new, they always are. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol. He was living in a hotel that housed drug dealers and prostitutes. He was also involved with a coven and had a human skull he was praying to. We counseled and prayed for him for a couple of hours. I felt it was time to end and we closed in prayer. I found out he had not eaten and gave him seven dollars for food. At that time in the 80’s I was only making $16,000 per year and that was the content of my wallet. The Associate Pastor thanked me and I left.
Within two days my pastor called me. He told me that the Senior Pastor of the church I had gone to was back in town and was irate. He said I had no authority to pray for this young man and I was never to pray for anyone in his church without his direct permission. My pastor told me that if I was to have a ministry, I had to learn protocols. I reminded him that he was the one who sent me. He did not reply.
A couple of weeks later I was praying for people at the altar. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see a young man in a three piece suit. His hair was neatly combed and his beard was neatly trimmed. He had a bible under his arm. He said, “Do you remember me?” In my mind I said, “No, who the hell are you?” This was not appropriate at the altar, so I just said, “No.” He said, “I am the guy you prayed for at that church a couple of weeks ago.” He continued, “Everything left that night. When I got up that morning I no longer had any desire for drugs or alcohol.” He continued, “I moved out of that hotel and got a job as a plumber’s apprentice. I have been attending a weekly Bible Study. I want to serve God and have a family.” He went on, “I wanted to thank you and repay you the seven dollars you gave me for food. Do you have change for a fifty?” In my mind I spoke to God, “Let me get this straight Lord. I did what I was asked to do and got rebuked. I was told I would not have a ministry. And, to top it off, this guy is making more money than I am. And I don’t have change for a fifty.”
As I work with people struggling with addictions for several months, I have to admit, “I don’t know.” As I pray for a gang member and he gets his sight back and a pastor’s wife does not, I have to admit, “I don’t know.” I wish I could just quote a scripture and everything would fall into place. The only thing I knows that works is finding out what God’s will is and doing my best to follow it. Sometimes it happens overnight, sometimes it takes a year and a half. But however long it takes, it does not change who He is.
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