Every once in a while, God surprises you. Just for fun. He paints an amazing sunset. He orchestrates a phone call from a friend (at the same time you are thinking about them). He puts a song…or a Bible verse…or a poem…or a quote in front of your eyes and ears at just the right moment.
Last week, this happened for me in a God-has-been-planning-this-for-a-long-time sort of way.
[featured-image link=”https://keithferrin.com/when-your-work-comes-full-circle” link_single=”https://keithferrin.com/when-your-work-comes-full-circle” single_newwindow=”true” alt=”Sometimes God surprises us – even years later – by showing us the impact of our lives on others.”]Image courtesy of Fotolia.com – © atm2003[/featured-image]
The Back Story
It was October of 2013. I was driving up to Canada to speak at a conference for teachers and administrators from Christian schools throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia.
As the miles ticked away, I became overwhelmed with the sense that God was planning an Ephesians 3:20 moment. (You know…“immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.”) I called Kari, shared my excitement, asked for prayer, and drove the rest of the way with a smile on my face.
Sure enough, the next few days were like few I have experienced before or since.
The attendees of this conference were excited, focused, asking questions, engaged in the workshops, walking with me down the halls in between sessions, and discussing principles and strategies over meals. They were hungry for and passionate about the Word of God.
Truth be told, they were so engaged I had to be a few minutes late to one of my own workshops just so I could take a “break.” (Yes…that means what you think it means.)
I drove home with an even bigger smile.
The First Email
On October 12, 2013 an email came in from Emily. (With her permission, I share her name and her story.) We had had a conversation at the conference the week before.
She asked if they recorded any of my sessions. (They hadn’t.) I told her I had recorded some of the same content at a previous conference and would put it up on a page on my blog.
In the email she wrote…
I would really like the Youth Leader’s team from my church to see it, as it is exactly what we are talking about and struggling through right now. When I heard you speak, it just made everything click for me and gave me a sense of peace about our up and coming discussion. I thank God for sending you – it has to be His hand when something like this happens.”
I thanked her for the encouragement. I sent her the link. She thanked me. And we didn’t talk again.
Until last week.
The Second Email
I sat down on Monday last week and read through the email that had come in over the weekend.
This email caught my eye…
I spoke at Wheaton College Grad chapel this past week about internalizing the Word of God. It was received very well, and God truly spoke to all of us, including me. You were and are a major part in my journey of falling in love with God’s Word. You inspired me a year and a half ago and I just wanted to thank you for that. Your work in the kingdom of God is producing fruits!!
If you are interested, I included the YouTube down below. I referenced the conference that I went to where I heard you speak 🙂
I was blown away. And humbled. And joyful. And rejuvenated.
And I spent the next 23 minutes watching this…
The Video That Encouraged My Soul
The Moral of the Story
Emily took a few minutes and shot me an email. She had no idea how encouraging, how rejuvenating, how affirming her email would be. (Well…maybe now she knows.)
So now, I ask you: Who has had an impact on your life? Who has made a difference in the way you see Jesus, the way you experience God’s love, and the way you understand, apply, and enjoy His Word?
Tell them. Write the email. Make the phone call.
You might just be an answer to an unspoken prayer. Emily’s email was exactly that for me.