We were talking about the death of a dream, that seems to common to us. It happens to all who have put their trust in Jesus as Savior/Lord.
Abraham is a good example of this scenario. God tells him that he will have more children than the stars he can count. Abraham is getting on in years, and his wife is past the child-bearing years, and they are childless. Abraham believed God, but as time went on, Abraham had a different interpretation of what God's promise to him meant, so, with his wife's permission, he takes the servant girl and gets her pregnant. Surely, this will be God's plan for their having a child. But years later, Sarah was an old lady, and lo and behold, she got pregnant! She had her baby boy, and as this boy was growing up, God told Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. He must have thought to himself, 'we got over one hurdle, now we need to get over this one'. Abraham obeyed God because he trusted God, and he went to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. A ram appeared in a bush, and Abraham was able to use that instead of his son for the sacrifice. So, the second hurdle was overcome and as the story continues, Isaac grows up, marries, has twins, who in turn grow up and have children, and more children are born to these children. God kept His promise.
I have seen this trait over the years. I have seen people who were serving the Lord, who lost something important and were made to 'sit on the bench' for a while. Singers lost their voices. Preachers lost their voices. Ministries that got started end. But, this is never the end of the story (unless these things happened as a result of sin and God's chastening).
I was thinking upon my own life tonight, and when that happened to me. I am not young anymore. When I was around 17, I had an insatiable desire to do evangelism. We didn't really learn how to do this, nor was there any encouragement from others to do this kind of work. But I continued, in faith, to learn how to do this and put it into practice.
One obstacle I had, was that I couldn't talk. So, I basically limited my vision of doing evangelism to giving out tracts. One other thing I got involved in was Child Evangelism. It was great and I learned a lot, but I still knew that there was more out there when it came to doing evangelism.
We moved to Winter Haven, and I was going to start my own Bible clubs since I wasn't with CEF at the time. God seemed to be speaking to my heart that there would be no clubs. Not sure what that was all about, but no one responded to the invitations that I sent out. Even the lady who wanted to work with me in the Bible clubs backed out. Why was God closing this door?
I didn't receive an answer to my question at the time, but, we were moving back to Orlando and I wanted still to pursue some type of evangelism activity. I prayed in my heart about what I thought God put on my heart. The answer I seemed to receive was one word: 'wait'. I sensed this a couple of times. I am not good at waiting and wondered why I couldn't do what I was called to do, at least at that time.
We were on our way to Orlando one evening, and it was going to be our last trip from there to Orlando to go to the 'Rock House' on Tuesday nights. On our way there, I saw a rainbow in the sky. No, I think I saw two rainbows. That was when I realized that I was going to have to 'wait'.
How long would I have to wait? The Bible talks about waiting on the Lord. This was a new concept for me. It wasn't long until I understood the reason why I would have to wait.....
Nine months later, I gave birth to a little girl. Then almost three years later, I gave birth to another little girl. This happened a couple more times, but the last one was a boy. During this period of time, I rarely thought about evangelism, at least on the outside of the house.
I learned how to homeschool four children. It took a lot of dedication on my part to learn. I learned a lot of new things when I was teaching them, and have gotten into learning mode for the rest of my life. Although I did not do anything with evangelism, I went to any classes on evangelism that were available. There was very little desire in my heart to even do this at this point.
Many years later, I found myself in a class that taught evangelism through videos called, 'The Way of the Master'. At first, it seemed like it was going to be just like the other classes, except a different format. But something was different this time. I had an 11 year old son, who caught on to evangelism, and he wanted to go out and evangelize. Could this really be happening to me? Where did this come from? So, eventually my son and I went out to evangelize with the group from our church. I still couldn't talk right, so, my son was good at starting conversations (where I was weak), but he would leave the conversations and go onto another person to talk to. That left me talking to the first person he was talking to. I shadowed the evangelism leader to learn from him. Still, I had a hard time talking to people about the Gospel.
I don't know if it was a learning disability or something wrong with my voice, but again, all I believed I was going to be able to do was to give out tracts. That was as good as it was going to get for me. But wait. I prayed about the ability to talk and share the Gospel. It took many, many prayers, but God answered them. Now I have the ability to talk, and minister to people. It was like a miracle because I couldn't change it for anything. I guess I had to be desperate enough for God to change me so I could do this work that was on my heart since I was 17.