Welcome Guest Blogger, Kenneth Godfrey
While I was the pastor at Graysville United Methodist Church in the Chattanooga, TN area, early one Saturday morning I received a phone call.
“Dad is in the hospital for observation and a few tests,” Murphy’s daughter said. “Nothing serious, but I wanted to let you know.”
I usually didn’t visit the hospital on Saturdays because I reserved that day for my family. Since Murphy’s condition is not serious, I thought, I will go on Monday.
Suddenly an urging came from the Holy Spirit not to delay the trip, but to do it today. That afternoon while my family napped, I made the half hour ride to visit Murphy.
“Preacher, you didn’t have to come down here today,” Murphy commented when I arrived. “I’m just here for observation and a few tests. I’ll probably go home in the morning.”
We had a delightful visit. Upon leaving, as I walked down the hall, I commented out loud, “What was that sense of urgency all about?”
Sunday morning after the worship service, everyone had left the sanctuary. I locked the front door and was gathering my sermon and Bible when I heard the front door unlock and open. Tom, the Lay Leader, stepped inside. By the shock on Tom’s face I could tell something was wrong.
“Ken,” he said with a quiver in his voice, “Murphy had a heart attack a few minutes ago. He’s gone.”
Immediately I understood the sense of urgency. If I had not visited Murphy on Saturday, Monday would have been too late. Thank you, Father, I whispered, for leading me.
When we listen, the Holy Spirit will lead us. Maybe he will lead us to visit, or call, or write an e-mail or a text. Maybe he will lead us to trust him more. Maybe he will lead us in a new path.
Paul affirms in his letter to the Romans that God leads us, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14 NIV)
In 1745 William Williams also said it beautifully in his hymn, “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.”
Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliv’rer, strong Deliv’rer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.
May we ever listen and follow Him.