THIRTY TWO YEARS
Mary Monday: Parris Bailey
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24 The Message
Sunday, Victory Fellowship, Frank, and I celebrated thirty two years of ministry. Before I left for church this morning Frank had me run upstairs and get his Bible that he had since 1973, the very same Bible that the Lord spoke to him from when we were driving into the city to take over the work that our bible school had started. When I went to grab his Bible, I saw my old Bible, the one that I had since 1976. Those Bibles have been sitting there for years, but today of all days, it all got to me. I opened mine, and saw the scriptures Dick Mills gave to me during that time and I saw the words, “FAITH, TIME, PATIENCE-ALL THINGS ARE POSSBILE”-5/5/77. That little scribble scratch called out to me—it was the very same word that the Lord had just given me for 2011.
This Sunday I was to take the tithes and offering and the Lord gave me John 12:24. Unless the grain of wheat is buried into the ground, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. I used my bible from 1976 to share from and drove a van that someone just had donated to Mary’s Song from her parent’s estate. I guess you could say it all began making sense. We die so that others live. That little hippie girl from the 70’s, surely had no idea that her whole life would become one big seed planted into the ground so a harvest could come from it.
I found this quote yesterday: “See the fatal consequences of an inordinate love of life; many a man hugs himself to death, and loses his life by over-loving it. He that so loves his animal life as to indulge his appetite, and make provision for the flesh, shall thereby shorten his days and shall lose the life he is so fond of. He that is so much in love with the life of the body, and the ornaments and delights of it, as to deny Christ, he shall lose it, that is, lose a real happiness in the other world, while he thinks to secure an imaginary one in this.”
Even the van that was given had meaning, it too had to germinate itself into the kingdom of God. The loved one who died would have a legacy, their car would be used for women getting a second chance. The hippie girl would find a new love, how ’bout you? Are you ready to decompose yourself?