“. . .for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29, NIV
I slammed the car door, rested my head in my hands and moaned, “I can’t believe I did that.”
“You were a little rough,” my husband said as he drove out of the restaurant’s parking lot.
“I’m not going to church tonight.” I looked at my husband for a reaction. Nothing. “I don’t deserve to teach the Bible. I’m going to stop.” Again, I waited for some sign of agreement, but my husband did not respond. We rode home in silence.
We had intended to extend a hand of friendship to a new associate minister in our church. Midway through lunch, the minister and I had a testy disagreement over doctrine. The statements I made were true but spoken without love. He left the restaurant humiliated, and I was thoroughly disappointed with my arrogant behavior.
After my family left for the evening service, I settled in my favorite chair. No sooner had I turned on the TV, than the electricity cut off. I wandered outside to see if my neighbors were having the same problem. They were, so I returned home.
We were in the midst of an extremely hot summer. If power wasn’t restored soon, the house would become an oven. As I pondered my next move, the fire alarm that had been strategically placed on a ten-foot ceiling began to buzz, loud and unceasing. I was too short to reach the alarm, so I grabbed the broom and proceeded to jab. My jabbing availed nothing. The noise was deafening and the house growing hotter by the minute. Suddenly, attending an air-conditioned church service became appealing.
I didn’t want to face the minister I had humiliated at lunch. I drove to a church my husband and I had visited in the past. Slipping into the service, which had already started, I settled on a seat in the back row. Then prayed no one would notice me as I wrestled to contain the frustrations of my day.
“I’ve been preparing a message all week,” the Pastor said, “but I can’t preach it. Shortly before the service started, the Lord gave me a different message.”
The Pastor described in vivid detail how Jesus’ life was crushed with suffering to produce the anointing oil of God’s Spirit. Therefore, anyone who had an anointing to teach should embrace it as precious. The Pastor concluded his message with a gentle rebuke to anyone who possessed a gift from God and took it lightly.
I knelt at the altar sobbing so loud everyone in the church could not help but notice me. Only God and my husband knew that I planned to stop teaching. The message to embrace the gifts God gives us as precious pierced my self-pity.
I returned home refreshed and determined to teach until God told me to stop. My husband was home when I arrived. “A peculiar thing happened when I opened the door,” he said.
“What was that?”
“Well . . .,” he began thoughtfully, “as soon as I opened the door, the TV and all the lights in the house came on!”