WHEN THE WAVES AND BILLOWS ARE GOING OVER OUR HEADS
A. W. TOZER SAID THAT GOD DOES NOT USE A MANICURE SET
WHEN WORKING WITH STONE
TOOLS THAT HURT
BUT THAT CAN SHAPE US INTO
WOMEN AND MEN OF BEAUTY
STORMS AND SUFFERING
ARE PART OF HIS MYSTERIOUS PLAN
Last week I was privileged to be part of a team that went into the prisons of Texas to minister to the inmates. This is always such an experience for me, for there is so much more life in the church in prison than in the church outside of prison. They hang on my every word, and afterward, in the small group times, they so want to understand how to be delivered from the power of sin. Everything has been taken from them, and yet I see a radiance in their faces. These are women who certainly know that life is a sea voyage, for many of them had their childhoods stolen from them, and have gone through one storm after another. They know as well about the darkness in their own souls and want to be transformed by the only One who can help them. Some have hurt others terribly, often passing on the sins of the fathers, and long with their whole hearts to be delivered from the beast prowling about within their hearts, holding them captive.
I am also so moved by the volunteers who are committed to these women. Often they too have been through enormous storms, and have experienced the reality of the Lord of the Storm. They are loving as Christ loved.
This time I met Grove Norwood. The moment he stood up to speak I sensed the presence of our holy God. God is using him mightily, but God has also taken him through a tremendous storm, something that seems to be so common for those He uses mightily.
Here is an excerpt of Grove’s story from Charisma magazine:
One day on his way home from church, he passes a church and sees a group of men standing outside. He senses that they have a problem, so he stops to see what he can do. Someone has stolen the church’s air conditioner, ripping a hole in the wall. Grover pays for the repairs.
Grover’s stop at the church leads to his meeting a member of the church, Ulice Parker. Ulice is also a well-respected, loving and kind man. He and Grover develop a friendship, and their families become family to each other. Grover always makes sure the Parkers have what they need, helping them however he can. He is especially concerned about the condition of their home, and knows he has to make it better, safer, livable.
But then tragedy strikes. The Norwoods’ daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Authorities soon discover that it was Ulice who had unknowingly killed Joy.