July 14, 1998 • By Ed Wrather
In 1991 at a pastor’s conference, I had the opportunity to hear an elderly evangelist by the name of Oakley. I believe it was W. B. Oakley. He told of his salvation and call at the late age of 36. He was a farmer and had not even finished High School; but God called, and so he left his family and farm, and by bus went to where he could finish high school. When he arrived, he was heartsick and planned just to get back on the bus and return home, but the bus wasn't leaving immediately.
Oakley looked up the street and saw the spire of a little church and so he went up there and tried the door, and it was unlocked. So, he went inside, and at the altar began to cry out to God. He didn't know how long he had been praying, but heard the sound of trailing garments, and he heard a voice saying, "I will go with you." "I will go with you." W. B. didn't know how many times the voice repeated "I will go with you." But it was enough. He went to high school, and then he went to college, and then he went to seminary, and then he traveled over the world the rest of his life as an evangelist.
Now when Oakley tried to tell some of his fellow classmates at seminary about his experience, and about other experiences he had while still on the farm (like walking around his corn field with his hand up in the air holding the hand of God.). The professor and his classmates said, “Brother Oakley you've been having hallucinations.” But Brother Oakley didn't know what hallucinations meant so he just said, "Amen Brother!"
Now when Brother Oakley learned what hallucinations meant sometime later, he said he went back. He said he told that professor if he had been having hallucinations he was praying that God would give him some more.
I believe God would say to you, as He said to Brother Oakley, and as He said to Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9).”