This past Sunday was a special day for our All Nations family. As part of the Global Leadership Gathering I was able to go to the meeting and share a few things. The special thing though, was being able to "pass the baton" on behalf of Floyd to the new International Director, Mary Ho. It was a sweet morning, but very emotional for me. I never dreamed I'd be doing this without Floyd.
I heard something this week that I didn't know. It happened the day that Floyd got sick in February 2016. He had woken up at 2 a.m. with severe pain in his left leg. He was to speak that morning in our training program (CPx), so he took some pain medication and went to the meeting. The pain got worse and worse until eventually he called me to pick him up and take him to the doctor.
While he was speaking to the students, he made this statement: "If I can't continue, will you finish the race?" Little did he know that the next day he'd be in ICU! It was a prophetic "call" without him knowing it! It was his very last time to speak/preach.
I only learned of this a few days ago. He didn't know what was ahead. He didn't know that in a short time he would lose his voice. But out of his heart came that "call." I was so moved when I heard this.
Our Cape Town leader, Neil Hart, told me that "what Floyd said that morning is a clarion call for us now. It must have been the Spirit of the Lord."
We are praying that God will speak clearly to All Nations - His plans, His strategy for reaching those who have never heard of Jesus.
One of the things I shared on Sunday with our All Nations family - when hard times come, we shouldn't waste time asking God all the "why?" questions! I've found that God rarely answers those. I frequently get emails from people telling me they're asking God "why??"
What I think we need to do instead is to declare in prayer who God is in accordance with His Word. We need to "lean into" the truth of who God is. We need to choose to trust Him - repeatedly, continually. And we need to let Him hold our right hand and carry us through the hard time.
We can ask God some other questions - what is He wanting to say to us? What does He want to do in the hard season? What is He wanting to teach us? I've found He'll readily answer these questions! He longs to draw us closer to Him in the hard times.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8,9
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' " Jeremiah 29:11
I'm so grateful for how God has spoken to me, how He's carried me, and I continue to trust Him for all that's still ahead.
Floyd has been enjoying some visits this week from our All Nations family that are here for the international gathering. Floyd has known many of these friends for quite a few years......and he's such a "people person." I'm sure his heart has been warmed by seeing them.
I got an email this week from a young man who was telling me his story of how God rescued him using one of Floyd’s books. It was a beautiful story of God’s miraculous intervention and faithfulness. Floyd cried when I told him the story. I reminded him that he can't speak, but his voice isn't silent. And I also talked with Floyd about how much God loves us. He never abandons us. He is constantly pursuing us in our various situations and circumstances. How loving, merciful, and persistent He is!
God loves us in spite of our sin, our failures, our weaknesses, even in spite of our anger towards Him when we feel He's let us down. He never lets us go. He never forgets what we're going through. He never just leaves us in hard times. He reaches out to us and pursues us.
I was deeply touched by that young man’s story. It reminded me that for Floyd and me, for each of us - God is with us, looking for ways to speak to us and help us. He never, ever gives up! He never stops reaching into our situations to help us.
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; If I make my bed in the depths, you are there." Psalm 139:7,8
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5
"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6