The winter has been harsh in Ohio to the point that the cry of my heart became, “Lord, send me south!” God answered almost instantly with an email that invited me to return to my spiritual roots in Columbia, South Carolina where I had the blessing to speak to the student body at Columbia International University (CIU) during their morning chapel service.
We left for Columbia last Tuesday when the temperatures were -20 in Ohio and I spoke in chapel last Wednesday with the temperature of 81 in South Carolina!
The Lord heard my cries and answered so graciously!! To have such blessed communion with our Lord is better then life itself. To be able to say, “Speak, Lord, for Thy Servant Listens” is a royal and sacred privilege for we have the ear and the audience of the King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe, the Great I AM!
We had no idea what God had in store for us on this journey but have found it has been a mini-sabbatical of being renewed and restored. Last Sunday I spoke at a small church in Florence, SC where we saw an old friend. This pastor friend was used as a vessel some 30 years ago when he invited me to speak for an Easter Sunrise service. This was the first step which began my 30 years of proclaiming my Lord. What a blessing it was to see this old friend, a retired pastor, that was used so greatly to start my ministry so long ago.
The blessing has continued with a few days at Carolina Beach in North Carolina. We are being renewed and restored with the breaking of waves and watching the dolphins dance and feeding the sea gulls. The sun is shining and it is 72 degrees and we are blessed by His sending and the time we have for listening.
This morning my beloved friend and caregiver, Thumbs, looked at me and said, “I wish you could hear the roar of the sea and the crashing of the waves.” I smiled with a deep satisfaction in knowing the sea and the crashing of the waves do speak to me. I hear the Voice of my Master with my eyes beholding His creation – the going out and coming in of each wave is the same as my very breathing. I hear His Voice upon the waters and it beckons me to draw near to listen with my soul.
Listen I do. My silence cannot keep me from hearing His Voice, but rather, it is just the opposite – In my silence I can hear His Voice and His Voice alone. And I know that what the Lord gives to me, it is what is best for me.
As I cover the miles of a lifetime, I continue to seek Him. My deepest heart’s desire is “Lord, speak, for your servant listens.” Life is an incredible journey with incredible lessons. The brightness of His pure light is seen most clearly in my darkest hours.
It is there in the darkness that the greatest lessons are taught. It is there that He speaks and to fully learn, I must be still and listen.
We seek to be a vessel, an outpouring of God’s love, to bring the good news to the afflicted, to bind up the broken hearted, to set the captive free, to comfort those who mourn, and to bring the oil of gladness and the mantle of praise to all that we meet and serve.
We undertake our mission through our outreach of ministering to the spirit, mind, and body, whether it be in renewal through silent retreat and prayer at WaterBrooks, through encouraging those with deafness and other physical challenges at Kennels of Levi, or through meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters among the homeless with Operation Silent Night.
We strive to fulfill our mission, not through our own might and power, but by resting on the firm guiding hand of faith in God’s providence, provisions and promises…for what He has started, He will so complete.