Have you ever been told that you are no longer needed? I
have. I used to work in the entertainment industry at a theme park. I got a late
start - I was almost 32 - when I entered the theme park business, and I have
never been the typical stereotype of a theme park performer. I am just under 6
feet tall, and weigh nearly 300 pounds. My strengths have always been my singing
voice, stage presence, and the ability to dance well for a big man. That's why
they hired me. I was very comfortable in my job. I worked for the same park for
ten years. I didn't have to travel and be away from my family. I got to sing
almost every day - all great blessings from the Lord! I wanted to stay there
until I retired. But God had other plans for my life and ministry.
In March of 2001 the vice-president of the entertainment division came to me and said that because of my age (now 42) and weight I was no longer suitable to work in their production shows. They offered me another job for six months, but that did not guarantee me year-round work. I was devastated at first. I have a wife and 3 small children, and my wife stopped working after we had our second child. We would be without income and without insurance! But we were not without hope! I knew that if God closed the door on my present job that He would open up an even better opportunity for me! After the initial shock wore off, we began to experience that "peace that passes all understanding". What did God have in store? We did not know, but we began to seek His face through prayer, the Scriptures, and fasting.
God showed us first that we were to leave the theme park altogether. What I thought would be the hardest decision was by far the easiest. God made it clear to us that He had prepared us for another work, and that work would begin soon. But what could it be? When it became known that I was no longer working for this theme park, churches in our area began to contact me. For years I had ministered through song and testimony in churches when I was not working at the theme park. Some of these churches began seek after me to be their minister of music. But I never had a peace about it from the Holy Spirit. I had been an interim music minister and had lead worship many times at my own church, but never felt a calling from God to minister to a specific, local church body. But it was tempting, because I would have a steady income and insurance for my family, and it was something I could start right away. How many times are all of us tempted by what is good, when God's best is still available? But my wife and I prayed specifically that we would not miss God's best for our lives - we claimed nothing less! And God answered our prayer.
In our process of seeking God's best, we asked God to provide us with wise counsel. My pastor and worship leader were two of the men from whom I sought wisdom, and they suggested expanding my part-time singing ministry to full-time, with our church's help and support. My wife and I continued fasting and praying, and the Lord brought the answer on a Saturday, 3 weeks after we had decided to leave the theme park. He revealed to us that we were to begin a faith ministry, singing and ministering in churches. The vision God gave us began in the United States, but would expand to all over the world?
We began ministering in April of 2001. At that time we had only 4 bookings, no sound equipment, and a vehicle that was not suitable for extensive travel. Since then God has miraculously provided bookings, an excellent sound system, and a conversion van perfect for our travel needs. We have traveled through 25 states, to one province of Canada, and to Nicaragua. In Nicaragua we were part of a crusade that saw over 1800 people come to a saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ! And all because we were willing to follow God, step out in faith, and trust Him to work in and through our lives for the glory of His kingdom.
My wife, the children, and I have begun an exciting adventure. As with any step of faith, it has wondrous moments of both excitement and fear. God says His grace is sufficient, and we trust fully in Him! The chorus of a song I heard recently puts it best:
"I know your doubt is deep and wide, My will is on the other side I know how to get there from here; Hold my hand and I'll give you faith, And freedom from the fear you face Step out, and the bridge will appear!"
That song has really ministered to us, because that's where we are now living! I believe God is waiting to bless His people when they follow Him in faith. Each time we've been obedient to step out the "bridge" has appeared and He has upheld us with His mighty hand.
That is my encouragement to you. Has God closed the door on your present job? He'll open another. Has He taken you from your "comfort zone"? Good. Get used to it. Out of our hands and into His is the place of true blessing for the believer. Has God been calling you to His best, and have you settled for something "good" that allows you to stay in that "comfort zone" and not have to fully depend on Him? Obey now - don't wait! Step out in faith, and watch as God begins to bless you over and over again, and bring glory to Himself and harvest for His kingdom!
Singing for the audience of one Tom Hacker (col 3:12-17)
Tom Hacker ministries p. firstname.lastname@example.org (Received on Tuesday March 5, 2002)
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