It’s amazing the things that God uses to reach people. Jesus used a chance meeting at a well, a woman in trouble, sickness, death, a conversation on a hillside. The truth is that God can take any situation and turn it into a God moment.
Take for instance a few weeks ago after the 4:00 pm, “Super Bus Church,” I had the bright idea to race the kids. That’s right, I’m 64 years old and I wanted to have a foot race, a sprint! Looking back even at this point, I can see that it probably wasn’t going to end well.
The kids all were excited and gathered around me. We established that we would sprint from telephone pole to telephone pole.The truth is, that in my mind, I was going to win that race! I decided I would be first off the line. I still have some speed in these old legs.The race started pretty well, I was leading. Then as I looked to the finish line, I realized that I had no stopping strategy. What I saw was that just beyond the telephone pole was a small drop off and two large mud puddles. Believe me when I say, “I tried to stop.” Seeing that I couldn’t stop in time, I tried to keep on going and run through the puddle.It must have been a sight to behold. I went rolling head first through the mud puddle. I ended up sitting in the middle of one puddle covered with mud from head to toe. Muddy water was dripping off my nose, but no one laughed, not even the kids. They were pretty sure I had killed myself.These kids, 8-12 were like “911” had just arrived. They seemed to know exactly what to do! They helped me out of the mud hole. They ran and got me a chair to sit in. They all stood around asking, “Pastor are you alright, are you all right?”A new couple in the neighborhood saw the whole thing. I’m not sure what they thought about the preacher mud diving, but they came over with a towel, wet cloth, and a clean, dry shirt.They were so kind to me. As I sat there we talked about what Super Bus was doing there, about our church and how important all these children are to us. We told them that “Our Community IS Our Church.”
The result of my mud puddle experience was that my friend Bob, has insisted that I hang up my racing shoes and that all my great ideas need to first be run by him. “This is to protect the church from liability and for my own health and well-being.”Something amazing happened. We have become friends with the new couple/family that came to my aid and were so kind to me. Guess who’s been coming to church? Our new friends! Although I don’t recommend it, my first attempt at “Mud Puddle Evangelism” has really worked.I guess the real moral of this story is that God does work in mysterious ways. It also causes me to wonder, how many strange, or difficult situations that we find ourselves in; has God allowed us to be there and somehow be used?
Pastor Ted Hambrick.