Brainerd International Raceway
May 26, 2012
“Asking The Right Questions”
(Read entire message online at our BCFM website below)
We pick up from last week where I was left in Germany, alone and in a dramatic situation. Kathy, our daughters Leeanne & Sarah, and the entire outreach team we were leading were fading in my view as the train to Amsterdam was pulling out of the huge Frankfurt train terminal.
Our scriptures for today:
“You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to bring about this present result which affects the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened.” – Genesis 50:20 (GBB)
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil nor be afraid, for You are with me; Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect and comfort me.” – Psalms 23:4 (GBB)
“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to take care of your welfare and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for and not abandon you” – Jeremiah 29:11 (GBB)
Last time we talked about our friend who had her car stolen but calmly kept her focus and ask God the right questions instead of doing what most people do and throw a fit. Instead she trusted in Him who knows the end from the beginning and wanted to grow from her experience. She did grow and everything turned out amazingly. She even got her car back that evening in perfect shape …and that is amazing!
Today, let’s look back at my experience during a harrowing adventure overseas. I need to cut to the chase so here goes…make a long story short.
Kathy & I were leading a 17 person outreach team to the former Soviet Bloc countries in 1989 and were on our way home. We had a huge old Kassbohrer bus and I was driving to Amsterdam through Austria, and Germany toward Amsterdam to fly home. Before Frankfurt the bus caught fire and even though I saved it, it would be going no farther. We set the people to prayer and while I tried desperately to deal with rewiring enough to drive it; a local Pastor named Werner miraculously showed up. He just knew he was suppose to stop and see if he could help all these people on a bus on the Autobahn. Shortly we had vans to get our people to the castle we were to stay that night before going to the train station for Amsterdam in the morning. I went along but would return to the bus in one last attempt to get it home to Amsterdam.
The next morning we got to the train station early and if you know European trains, they are on time and wait for no one! Barely getting everyone aboard and their luggage the train began leaving with me half in, half out the doors. Without a kiss from Kathy or the girls and just my hand left inside the door; Kathy passed me our credit card. As the train left my view my heart was broken and I seriously worried for Kathy as now she would be on her own with the girls plus leading the team home. As the train left view I set my mind to get to the bus and work on it and once again Werner dropped me off at the bus, prayed for me, and left to his farm.
Well, after almost burning the bus to the ground again with a flash fire and literally diving backwards out the door to escape, I got the fire out just as Werner showed up with a “Hi Bob!” God answered the prayer I had just began praying moments before! I spent the night with his family before he took me to the train in the wee hours. Saying good-bye & getting directions on which train to take to Frankfurt I was on my own again, and by now fully wondering about Kathy, my girls, and our team .
Arriving in Frankfurt I went to get my ticket and found I was 8 deutsche marks (German Dollar) short so I pulled out the credit card. “Oh No!” it was not our credit card all right; but our phone card! Now what? …as I sat in the middle of this gigantic train station on the floor. “Okay, this one’s on You, Lord. What do you want me to do? Do you have something for me in this? How do I get 8 deutsche marks? Suddenly, the crowds cleared and there was a row of pay phones! Wow, I have a phone card. I can call YWAM Frankfurt and get Patty or HannaLore; but there were no phone books & no YWAM info on me because of the Communists, plus I don’t speak German. Finally the 30th phone down the line had a book but how do I spell YWAM in German? Okay, J …Jugend or something. Here it is!
Here it is about 4am and I am going to wake everyone up! Neither friend turns out to be there but they say “we called a special prayer meeting starting in five minutes” and I told them my dilemma. A gal named Marita said she would be there at 8am and loan me the money. How kind, and not even knowing me! But I looked awful.
I had time to wait before she arrived and I sat and waited with all kinds of thoughts going through my head.
One thing I solidly remember and always will; was the lyrics to a Janis Joplin song …”Me & Bobby McGee” going through my head and because of what I looked like after this ordeal of wrestling with the bus. It played over and over in my head like a threat.
It’s only one line but it was “Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train And I’s feeling nearly as faded as my jeans.”
Today I laugh at it, but then I felt like that …dirty, greasy, sweaty, and embarrassed to meet anyone …especially a YWAM leader! Omigosh! What would she think? What do all these people walking by me think? I don’t blame them for giving me a wide space! I had to look like a homless bum! Who in there right mind is going to believe you?
The enemy was there and I was the target. However, God was faithfully there also and He calmed my heart when there was no calming it.
Finally, it was time and here she came slowly, awarkerdly walking toward me. You could see the wheels turning in her head as she saw me: “Is this guy for real?” “He knows HannaLore & Patty and everyone he should, but…” I could not blame her if she turned and ran but she didn’t. She loaned me 30 deutsche marks and today I know the reason God had put all this together. Over and over those “why” questions asked were answered quickly.
You see Marita was on her way to Leipzig, East Germany and knew no one there except she knew God was sending her there. I had close ministry friends there who led an illegal Christian underground ministry. She made the connections with my friends. Not only that, but it had been in my heart to plant a YWAM ministry there in Leipzig and from these friends of mine unafraid of the communist threat and Marita with help from the Frankfurt YWAM ministry, they began YWAM Leipzig even before the fall of the Berlin Wall bringing the complete downfall of communism a short time later in 1989. While I never got the opportunity to begin YWAM Leipzig, God blessed me with being the one who tied His dreams for this ministry together to get it started. When I think about this today, I still get Goosebumps! And, you only got the short story here! There is so much more to it.
From these last two weeks in Chapel, I hope that you have learned and are willing to try challenging yourself the next time that you find yourself in the path of a tough, nasty, traumatic issue trying to get in your face and head.
Remember to stay calm…
- Quiet yourself before the Lord
- Learn how to listen to Him answer your questions
- Ask the RIGHT questions
Our friend heard from her daily devotional if you recall.
There are lots of ways He can speak to us & as you try and learn you will begin to know how you personally can hear Him best.
- Be willing to be humble and learn what God wants to show you from the situation He allowed to happen
- Remember, He WILL even turn what was meant for harm by the enemy influencing someone to do something to you …to GOOD.
- Remember the three scriptures above.
- Lastly, if you don’t listen for the answer with patients & trust, then asking the right questions will not matter at all.