October 2, 2007 • By Ed Wrather
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me (when you have turned back - NIV), strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” - Luke 22:31-34 NKJV.
Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. - John 17:24-26 NKJV.
In 1975, I began working in the oilfield in pipe inspection. The money was good, but it was the most miserable job that I had ever had. I was still praying every day and before long I was asking God to give me a different job, because I hated the one that I had. It was as though God was not listening. He knew exactly what I was asking, thinking, doing and feeling; but He was not answering, because sin had entered into my life.
The oilfield for the most part, at that time, was filled with many forms of evil. Alcohol and drug abuse was rampant, along with other forms of immorality. The hard work seemed to be used as an excuse to go out and live like the devil. Party all night and work hard all day. Every month or so we would have a job out of the area and would have to spend a week or two living out of a motel. Of course, this only increased the availability of all of the above that I mentioned. After work, we would go eat and before going back to the motel, we would all go to a bar. It was the expected and accepted thing to do in that environment.
Now I knew that what I was doing was wrong, and every night I would ask God to forgive me, and give me another job. But I kept on doing what I wanted to do, and kept on missing out on what God had for my life. God surprised me with His amazing grace, demonstrating that He knew right where I was, and what I was doing, and that He still cared enough about me to warn me.
One night when we were working out of town, and having to stay in a motel, I called my wife. Jeanie told me that I had gotten a letter. I had a small mail order business setting lyrics to music, and apparently, the woman that wrote me the letter had seen my ad. It was an anonymous letter and began, “Dear People.” the woman that wrote the letter obviously had some mental problems, but God was able to use her anyway.
The letter was some seven or eight pages long, Jeanie read every word, and with every word the conviction of my sin grew. The letter told about how sin had destroyed this woman’s life and it was a warning to others to flee from sin. By the time Jeanie had finished reading the letter, I knew that this was not a letter from some mentally deranged person; this was a message STRAIGHT FROM THE HAND OF GOD TO ME.
I had a choice at that point; I could listen to God, or continue my rebellion even in the face of His warnings and love for me. It was enough for me to immediately fall to my knees, and begin crying out for my Lord’s forgiveness. The next day I left my driver’s license at the motel, and after work as usual we ate, and then I tried to get them to take me back to the motel room; but they wouldn’t do it. They took me with them, and tried to force me to go in the bar with them, the same one we had been in the night before. However, they would not let me in because I looked so young, and didn’t have an ID. So, I sat out in the truck for several hours until they finally decided to go back to the motel, and that is what I continued to do the rest of the time we were away from home.
I believe that God wants to bless us and I have experienced God’s blessings upon my life when I do what He wants me to do. Two weeks later, after my encounter with God through the letter, I suddenly had a job like paradise compared to the one that I had before. (An excerpt from “Journey to Fruitfulness” my online testimony and you can read the whole story at the Burning Bush website.)
Isn’t it time for you to turn back to God? He’s waiting. Jesus has prayed for you just as He prayed for Peter, and He has a life better than you ever believed possible waiting for you.