Acts 29 – Memorable – 12

Have you ever encountered someone who died more than 20-years ago, face-to-face?

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John 11:14 – Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

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It was in the late 80’s while I was serving as pastor of what was then New Life Assembly of God in Winston-Salem, NC.  God was blessing our church, we were growing, and there were constant manifestations of signs and wonders in our midst.  A couple in our church, faithful members, was about to move from our community to another city.  She was pregnant, but one Sunday evening she came for special prayer, their relocation coming in two days.  Her most recent visit to her doctor was filled with bad news.  The doctor, after a number of tests, told her that her baby was dead in the womb.  There was no pulse; no signs of life at all.  But for her, this was not a final answer.  We prayed and believed the Lord for what we knew would be a miracle.  She certainly needed one, and we know that only comes by the Spirit.

I heard nothing from them at that time.  Two days later they were gone.  I did not hear from them after that, and not knowing exactly where they had gone, I was unable to contact them.  I was somewhat puzzled by that, but my responsibility as their pastor at departure was to love them, prayer for them, hold fast to our agreement in faith, and remain ready to be a blessing in their life, should I encounter them in the future.  Still, they remained in my memories, especially from their service to our church.

Then more than 20-later, I conducted a wedding for a young lady I watched grow up from about age four.  I had known and ministered with her family, and taken the couple through pre-marital counseling.  The wedding took place on December 3, 2011 in Lincolnton, NC.  During the reception, my bride came to me saying there was someone there anxious to see me.  I went with her to meet the person.  As I walked up, I recognized the lady immediately; a lovely lady with red hair and bright smile.  It was so good to see her after all these years.  We chatted for a moment, and a young lady came to the table.  My old acquaintance asked if I remembered praying for her concerning a baby that was said to be dead in her womb.  I told her I did.  She apologized for not having informed me earlier, but the younger lady was her daughter.  Yes, the one that doctors had declared dead in the womb.  I was looking into the beautiful face of someone the medical community had said died 23-years earlier.  But the last word of that discussion stood before me, bright, beautiful, and blessed.  Acts 29 occurring again, almost 1,900 years after the Scriptures were concluded. 

Manna for Today – John 11:1-16; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

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