The Lord brings opportunities into our lives to encourage other believers and to point the unsaved to Him. Many times while serving the Lord He uses the people we minister to to encourage us to continue on in the path of life.
A few months ago, we were asked by a friend to set aside the evening of August 20 to sing at a fundraiser/appreciation dinner for pastors and individuals who have supported the ministry of Gideons International (an organization that places Bibles in hotels/motels, hospitals, doctors offices, schools, prisons, and in the hands of individuals around the world).
We prepared several songs which included instrumental pieces for the flute and violin and a couple songs that directly referred to the Bible. Much of our time on Thursday was spent finalizing the program and rehearsing one more time before performing. To be honest, the afternoon had been a little stressful and parts of the getting ready process could have been smoother.
As we continued getting ready and on the way there, God’s grace quieted our hearts and prepared us emotionally for the evening ahead. We had arrived at the church where the dinner was to be held. The overcast sky and scattered raindrops hurried us into the building with everything we would need – violins, flute, music and violin stands, music, etc. We paraded into the building, arms loaded with our belongings, and began to unpack, tune, set up, and get ready. Of course, many turned to look as we walked in, as we were the only ones with any children there, and a family of twelve all dressed alike tends to draw the eyes of people anyway. Finally, everything was ready, instruments were tuned, music was on the stands, microphones were positioned, and we sat down to catch our breath before starting the program.
We sang and played while everyone was eating. When the meal was over, we heard inspiring testimonies of how God had worked miracles in the lives of many who had received a copy of God’s Word through the Gideon’s. Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” There were so many stories that clearly demonstrated the truth in these verses; it was very exciting to hear how the Lord is using ordinary people to carry His Word around the world! We were reminded that, no matter what happens in the world around us, or what we might have been through in the past, God and His Word never change, and He will work in and through us if we let Him.
When the program was over and people were leaving, many came and told us what a blessing the music was to them. We even had a couple pastors ask us if we would be available to sing at their churches. There is a sweet peace and joy that comes when we “turn our eyes upon Jesus” and trust Him to do His work through us. Who knows where God will lead us from here, or how and when He will use us. But we praise Him for His faithfulness and grace as we strive to “be an example” and to “press toward the mark!”