Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You Want Me To Do WHAT?!?

She looks like I felt.
Image found here
Have you ever been asked to do something on the spur of the moment for which you were totally unprepared? I recall one such incident that happened probably about seventeen or so years ago. (I must be getting old. Time kind of runs together.)

I had lived in Bali, Indonesia, for two or three years at the time. The International church I attended regularly met in the evening, so I often visited a different church in the morning.

On the morning this incident happened, I had ridden my bicycle for about forty-five minutes in the heat of a tropical morning. I arrived at the church all hot and sweaty.

This congregation did not have a regular pastor at that time, so speakers were arranged on a roster basis. When I arrived, Ibu Kade, the dear lady who was responsible for arranging for speakers, met me in the parking lot all frantic.

“Julie, Julie, I have a big problem,” she said. “The person I had scheduled to speak today got his dates wrong. He thinks I scheduled him for next Sunday. He can’t come today, so we don’t have anyone to bring the message. So Julie, could you do it?”

"You want me to do WHAT?" I thought. I probably said something more like, Um…um…ummm. I’ve never done that before…ever. I mean, I’ve talked about work on the mission field…maybe for five minutes…but this…and I don’t have anything prepared.”

“But Julie, we don’t have anyone else. Could you please help us?”

Wow! That was a big step for me. It never occurred to me that I might be asked to do something like this. Give a testimony, yes. Share briefly about my work in Bali...sure. But this really threw me, I have to admit.

But the need was there. The need was obvious. So with a fervent, “Lord, help!” I agreed.

Image found here
Thankfully, in my devotional reading the night before, I had read Ezekiel 47. In that chapter, verses 1-12 especially stood out to me. This passage was about Ezekiel’s vision in which the life-giving river that flowed out of the Temple.

A number of points in that vision really spoke to me…and incidentally…gave me a pretty decent outline for an impromptu message that Sunday morning.

Over the next several posts, I’d like to share some of those points with you. I hope you’ll join me for this short series as we explore this river, what it does, and what God wants to to in us and through us as we travel this life-giving river with Him.

Time for Reflection

Until next time, why not pick up your Bible and read Ezekiel 47:1-12 for yourself. Whatever else you might read, come back to these twelve verses. Marinate in them, and ask God to show you what He has for you in this passage.


  1. JulieI have been there and know how you felt. Its good that God had already prepared you!

    1. Yes, it was good. Thanks for the comment. It's good to know you stopped by.

    2. I think this is how the majority of people in ministry get started. At least the good ones I know. Seminary is nice, but I think many "trained" leaders lack real life experience (which is necessary for real leadership). Glad you were able to fill that role.

    3. Me, too, Chris. I don't always finish my quiet time with something that stands out so clearly. I am so thankful that happened this time.


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