I don’t normally write about what I am about to write about.
I usually write about the proper application of Scripture and what the New Testament actually says as opposed to two millennia of man-made additions.
But you can’t read that kind of thing all the time. One needs some lighter fare to lighten the load.
I have noticed that many of you write about your own personal stories. In fact, this is probably what blogging was originally intended to be—keeping a daily web log on the events of one’s life.
In that light, I have decided to tell a personal story to bring glory to God. It happened almost a quarter century ago:
We were attending a local fellowship in a town I once lived in. One day, a good friend and spiritual brother in our church approached me with a need. This young man was somewhat new to the church and was a member of my church-based home group, a collection of about ten or twelve people, mostly couples. My family usually held weekly meetings in the small house we were renting, though we sometimes met in the homes of others. It was a good group, and we all got along great and had fun. I did a little teaching, we shared a meal, and we took prayer requests. It was mainly about being with like-minded believers and enjoying each other’s support. You might say most of us were not made of money, though we worked hard. I did carpentry work. Steve was a roofer. Another Steve and his wife did whatever they could including taking care of a large paper route.
Ricky and his wife were young professionals and an older man in the group sold hospital equipment and did quite well. I remember his wife didn’t want to have meetings in her home because she didn’t feel like her home was good enough, even though it was better that what the rest of us had. In particular, she didn’t think her furniture was up to par. Yet, the couches we all sat on at my house had been given to us. We had recently moved to town and were in the process of starting over. A kind couple in the church had wondered if we wanted a little bit better furniture and we were thankful to trade in our older set.
It was Ricky who had called me one day with his request. Knowing he was a member of the group and that we were all trying to live for God the right way, I listened intently and took to heart the story he told.
It seems a young unmarried woman had just had a baby. The baby was born with a terrible skin condition that had no cure. He was covered with sores. The young lady lived with her mother and at least another older relative in a mobile home. The baby would need a special bed usually reserved for burn patients. The good news is that the very expensive bed had already been donated. The problem was the mobile home floor would never support it.
Would I be willing to build a room addition for the little guy?
Lots of thoughts ran through my head. I’m struggling for money. We were both working hard. I only had one vehicle. And yet, I felt like I had no choice but to meet Ricky at the baby’s house and at least take a look.
The material would be donated. All they needed was my labor. Someone else would build a cinder block perimeter wall about two feet high to build the floor on and meet the floor of the trailer. I would take it from there.
I decided to do it.
Over the next few weeks I concentrated on building a room addition for a little baby boy who came into this world in really bad shape in an effort to relieve a portion of his suffering. He was really a cute little guy, quick to smile, and despite his painful condition seemed very willing to live. He was much loved and cared for by his young mother who had a very sweet disposition.
To solve the car problem, we arranged to borrow the grandmother’s little car so my wife at the time could use it for work, while the grandmother carpooled.
After the cinder block wall/footings were constructed, I began building the floor. It was very important that the floor be strong enough for the bed and was the main reason for the new room. Though I can’t remember, I probably went a little overboard and used 2x12s at least 16 inches on center. I decked it, built the walls, and completed the roof. I installed two or three windows to make it bright and cheery, included a sizeable exterior door, and trimmed it all out.
At completion, the floor was level with the mobile home floor and provided a seamless transition to the new room. The big new bed was delivered and installed on one end of the addition. I will never forget that room, all painted with light flooding in from spacious windows (as opposed to the rest of the house which was quite dark). It was a big room.
When the little guy was put in his new bed I knew it had all been worth it, though it caused quite a strain on our lives and finances. I received no pay other than the joy of seeing that little baby with all his open sores smiling broadly as he lay in his new bed, giving him whatever relief it could muster.
I quickly lost touch with them. They lived pretty far away. I have even forgotten the baby’s name, but will never forget him or that time. I don’t remember sharing too much about what the Lord had accomplished for the little one with our home group, but no one else in the church knew what we were doing. It was a big sacrifice, but I knew the Lord was in it and would take care of us. It is interesting that some people in that church looked down on us regarding our financial condition at the time, and seemed to think we were not working hard enough to rectify it.
But Ricky was very happy. God worked through that young man to bring a miracle to pass and it was a privilege to be part of it.
We continued struggling financially in a down market for over another year or two. But then the Lord blessed us with an opportunity to gain our own miracle house, a pretty big house on acreage that just kind of dropped out of the sky.
I have always believed these two events were connected.
God is faithful.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Posted on May 30, 2012, in Real Christianity and tagged Baby's Room, Lord Jesus, Real Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
God is faithful indeed! Thank you for sharing this story. What a blessing that bed must have been to that baby. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Thank you, Susan. The story is a testimony of the Lord’s goodness. Non-Christians often think that God, if He exists at all, must not care too much about us. But God loved that little baby enough to do whatever it took to get the job done. It was a community project, and the Lord directed everything.
Wonderful testimony RJ, God does work in amazing ways and this is a perfect example! God bless you my friend. That room will probably be standing long after the mobile home is gone. 2×12’s @ 16″oc is a very strong floor, a sign of a good carpenter.
Thank you, Patricia. Yeah, being so long ago, it would be kind of cool if Baby’s Room was still there. I wonder sometimes about that little one. He would be all grown up now, and in his early twenties.
No doubt the two incidents are connected. You sowed a room and harvested a house. “Give and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…” Luke 6:38. Excellent post. Tom
Thank you, Tom. Though I wasn’t thinking that at the time, it occurred to me later that it actually happened the way you described. “For the Word of God is living and active… [Hebrews 4:12]. We cannot out give God!
RJ, you gave out of the abundance of your heart because there was a need that only you could fill. You were not paid for your work in cash at the time, but when you eventually received compensation, it was far greater than you could ever have imagined. You planted a room, but you reaped a miracle house–and God was glorified!
Thank you, Derrick. It was cool the way the Lord put a team together to meet the little guy’s need. I was simply put in a fortunate place and given an opportunity. It was a great blessing to be thought so well of by Ricky that he even considered asking me. And you are certainly right that our compensation is often out of this world. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, so He must be quite the cheerful Guy! I know the Lord was very happy with the way it all turned out, as were all involved.
Thanks for sharing this faith-building story. No sacrifice under the Lord’s direction will go unrewarded, as your story illustrated well. This is what Christian community is all about – sharing what we have with those who don’t have it – whether temporal or spiritual.
Thank you. I appreciate it. Burdens and sacrifices spread out within a spiritual community are no burdens at all but blessings. Every real Christian is a minister, or actually, a servant engaged in a particular calling. May we all answer His call and continue to cultivate and keep our gardens and vineyards. Be blessed.
Thanks for sharing a portion of your life through Christ. Carpenters are Mighty Special folks in my book. This kind of testimony (even though some who are blind to how God works in our lives may see it as “self-serving” and not for what it is), is a testimony of the Fruit of your Faith. Paul’s greatest joy was to see Christ at work in his brothers-in-Christ. You have given me Joy… May many more be impacted by the evidence of our Faith as we share our Stories of Christ’s love in and through one another. Blessings, Don.
Thank you, Don. There’s a million stories out there involving selfless acts by the Lord’s people, and many are never told. But the Word of God is filled with such stories that, thankfully, were told. It is often the case that we must remain anonymous, but sometimes, by telling a story, it gives God glory He would never otherwise receive. Thank goodness we have the Gospels that tell us of so many of the things our Lord Jesus did for others. In our case, if we are right with God, it is actually the Lord working through us all to accomplish things for others, and all the credit goes to Him. Amen!
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