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 agreed as he pulled out of the restaurant’s parking lot.
“I’m not going to church tonight.” I looked at my husband for a reaction. “I don’t deserve to teach and 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, but the opposite happened. 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 the alarm. My jabbing availed nothing. The noise was deafening and the house growing hotter by the minute. Suddenly the thought of attending an air-conditioned church service was very appealing.
I didn’t want to face the minister I had humiliated at lunch, so 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.
When the pastor stepped behind the pulpit, I opened my Bible anticipating the scripture reference for the message.
“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 explained how much it cost God to give us an anointing to minister. He described in vivid detail how Jesus’ life was crushed with suffering to produce the anointing oil that brings healing. Therefore, anyone God had given 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.
The Pastor’s message pierced my self-pity. Moments later, I was kneeling at the altar sobbing so loudly everyone in the church could not help but notice me. This Pastor had no knowledge of the events that transpired and my reaction to them. Only God knew that I didn’t need to stop teaching, I needed to embrace the precious gift God had given me.
When I arrived home, my husband said, “A peculiar thing happened when I got home from Church.”
“What was that,” I inquired.
“Well . . .,” he began thoughtfully, “as soon as I opened the door, the TV and all the lights in the house came on!”