Learning to be Responsible, Part I

“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)

On November 29, 1995, I had an experience I will never forget. I would like to take the opportunity to share that experience with you right now.

Like most people, it is unusual for me to get sick, except, of course, on the odd occasion. On one fine day back in November of 1995, I was up in our sixth floor lab of the Nortel (Northern Telecom) Tower 5 Skyline Building in Ottawa, Canada. There, I distinctly remember the “fire” that was building up in my throat, right at the back. It was really painful. A “fire” like usually meant that I was going to be very sick for up to a week. I “knew” that I needed to go home and rest.

But just as I was thinking about possibly doing this, a rather odd thought went through my mind. I’m convinced this thought actually came from God, who put it there. “It is not God’s will for you to take time off being sick at home. His best for you is to be healthy and productive. That is the way He created you.” Because of this thought, instead of immediately going home, I paused for a moment and thought about what I should do. I thought to myself, “I will go downstairs to the cafeteria where I can find a private space where I can pray for a while. Maybe God will show me something.”

I made my way down to the cafeteria, and began to pray. As I did, the following thought also came to my mind, “Is there any area in my life that I have been avoiding taking responsibility?” This was not an altogether odd thought for me to have. God had been “coaching” me for some time about the need to be a responsible person. I knew that, when I took responsibility, then God would have favor upon me, yes, and even heal me sometimes (or, it could be a gradual healing, depending on the level of “woundedness” inside of me). In any event, this was the thought.

Immediately — as mundane and as simple as this may sound — the thought came to my mind, “I have been lazy in paying my telephone bill.” Now this was not really a great matter to me (usually). However, was it possible that a simple thing like not being quick to pay my telephone bill could hinder God’s ability to work in my life, in areas of healing? Well, again, because of my experience in these matters, I resolved then and there to pay the bill. You know, a little old telephone bill might not look that dangerous. But, other issues, such as “fear of having enough money to pay” (etc.) could be involved in all of this. (In the spiritual realm, the possibilities were endless).

Still with the very “fiery” sore throat, I made the resolve to pay the phone bill, and proceeded to get up and go do just that — then and there. However, as I got up, I immediately met a fellow whom I knew, sitting at one of the cafeteria tables with his friends. I distinctly knew that the Lord was saying to me, “Now stop right there and talk with this man.” Ah — providence. I had come down to pray, and had come to the conclusion that I needed to be extra diligent in carrying out my responsibilities. I needed to “get right with God” in every area possible before He would “make me whole.” “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be a peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) That “sickness” was my enemy, and I knew it! God now had me where He wanted. I was His servant and it was time to talk with this fellow — just before I paid the telephone bill.

(To be continued on Monday.)