I had such a HUGE gift/blessing last week that I can't wait to post it in one of my 1000 gifts posts, but I have to share it right now.
My parents and I love the 1980's mini-series based on Herman Wouk's book Winds of War. Mom bought the DVD set for Christmas and we watched it and when it was over we all wished there was more. I knew Wouk had a sequel to the book, so I looked it up and sure enough there was another mini-series (with some different actors) on the sequel, War and Remembrance. I finally ordered it from the library and started watching it with my Dad a few weekends ago while my Mom was away in Ohio for her family reunion.
That weekend I had lots of time to spend with my Dad and God really pushed me to share the Word with him as it's been several years since I've tried sharing anything with him, because he's so resistant. But I kept putting it off and the whole weekend passed and I never said anything.
So the next weekend comes around and Mom's back and all three of us watch the next episode of War and Remembrance. One of the main characters is Aaron Jastrow, an American Jew who had lived most of his life in his ivory academic tower and was never serious about his heritage, until he ended up in a concentration camp during WWII. Being persecuted for being a Jew, for the first time he embraced his faith. In one long scene, he shared a message from the book of Job to other Jews in the camp, on why God allows such senseless evil and suffering like what they were going through.
The actor actually quoted Job 38: 1-8, the VERY SAME verses that God answered me with, when I challenged whether He was real or not, back in 1993 when I was still agnostic but searching for the truth.
It's as if God was saying to me: "if you are not brave enough to share your testimony and speak My Word, then I WILL DO IT FOR YOU!"
I knew I could not remain silent anymore. I told B. and the kids what had happened, about how my parents got to hear not only verses from the Bible, but also an amazing sermon about one of the most amazing and powerful speeches God has ever spoken to man, and verses that have more personal meaning to me than any other verses in the Bible. Blaze and Dreamer got excited about sharing their testimonies, too.
The next day I told asked my parents if I could share something important to me, with them, and I re-read those verses:
Then out of the storm the Lord spoke to Job:
Who are you to question my wisdom with your empty words?
Now stand up straight and answer the questions I ask you.
Where you when I made the world?
If you know so much, tell me about it.
Who decided how large it would be?
Who stretched the measuring line over it?
Do you know all the answers?
What holds up the pillars that support the earth?
Who laid the cornerstone of the world?
In the dawn of that day the stars sang together
And the heavenly beings shouted for joy.
I was able to talk for at least 20 minutes about my story leading up to this moment when I read these verses and how they rocked my world, and how even now nearly 20 years later they still rock my world. Through all of this they listened - my mom is always polite but this time she seemed genuinely interested, and my Dad usually gets a stony, angry expression and refuses to look at me, but he didn't this time. He didn't say anything for a long time, but I kept silently praying that he would say something, that he would be stirred/drawn by God through my testimony.
When he finally did speak, he mentioned some people from his long ago past that turned him off with their brand of Christianity, things that he's still bitter about, so that was unfortunate, but when I left and said goodbye I thanked him for listening to me and told him I loved him, and he said "I love you" back, which is very, very, VERY rare for him to say that... so I was able to leave feeling hopeful. And especially so about my mother. I know it's been a huge trial for her, taking care of my father as Parkinson's disease has made him so dependent on her, and it has brought her to her knees a couple times... she knows she needs prayer, she needs God (though I keep praying that she would get into the Word and realize what comfort and encouragement can be found there on a daily basis - our daily bread).
Writing this over a week later, I am still awed by how God brought those verses from Job to my parents.