Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in strange and mysterious ways.
Romans 11:33 NLT
Oh, What a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods!
I am regularly astounded by how truly amazing God is. My lifelong faith journey is filled with stories of God’s amazing divine interventions and his amazing deeds.
In the late 1990’s I got a phone call from our church office, informing me they were going to throw away all my cassette messages, that if I wanted them, I would need to come and get them that very day. I was stunned, as they represented a huge part of my life’s work. I was told they didn’t have the time or the finances to pay someone to sit and transfer each cassette to a CD, then from a CD to an MP3. Of course, I understood that explanation, but holy smoke, to think of throwing them all away! I rushed over and brought them home in cardboard boxes and sat them on the dirt floor of my old garage as there was no other place to store them. Eventually, I moved to another house, and put them in the garage in the same old boxes, inwardly longing for the day they could all be saved and put to good use.
Fast forward to 2011. I received an email from a young Christian missionary whose life had been saved and greatly changed by her involvement in my church. She was coming home from the mission field and wanted something to do with her time, while she stayed with her parents, dealt with reverse culture shock, and re-entered life in the US again. Three separate times she called me looking for something to do. Finally, I said, “Christina, I have almost 10-15 years worth of old messages on cassettes, my dream is to have them all converted to CD’s, then converted to MP3’s and then put up on a website with all my messages so people can have them for free. Would you be interested in helping do this?” She said, “Mark, my dad was on the team at 3M that invented the cassette tape. They only last so long, before they lose the messages on the tape. I would love to help. I will come over right now and get them and spend the next month getting them done for you!” I was amazed! I couldn’t believe it!
Shortly thereafter another young man whom I had impacted through my ministry at The Rock, whose life was once being destroyed by alcohol, asked if he could build me a website for all my messages. We called it Strong Disciple. I was once again stunned and amazed by God and his divine interventions. BUT, who could have imagined, or ever dreamed that in 2019 all 31 years of my messages would be deliberately, intentionally erased from the websites of the churches I started? Had this sister and brother in Christ not preserved all my messages on Strongdisciple.com all would be lost! Totally, completely gone forever!! Instead all were saved, and they set the stage for the foundation of this Strong Disciple ministry God called me to in 2018.
God knew! God saw years in advance what would happen, and God amazed me with His faithfulness and His divine interventions. God is simply amazing!
Friends, God is doing amazing things in your life as well. Recently, I was sent this story from a young soldier I pray for every day. His situation was dire. The military whom he had devoted years of his life to serving, was going to throw him out because he refused on significant medical grounds, to take the Covid vax. He was going to lose everything he worked for. I prayed for him every day for over a year, that God would intervene, though it looked utterly hopeless.
Here is an email I got from him just a few weeks ago, Sept. 2022.
I just wanted to share some exciting news!!!! God has come through in a very special way!
Yesterday I received a phone call letting me know the Military had reversed course and decided to grant a 5-year medical exemption. They also offered an apology for their two previous denials and for not considering all the factors in my case.
Something really interesting happened too while they tried to put the exemption into their system. The person on the phone said that normally they only grant 1-year temporary exemptions and then re-evaluate yearly. However, when the doctor tried to insert a 1-year exemption into the system, it was rejected. So he tried a 5-year and it was accepted. So although they only intended on it being a 1-year waiver, it’s now for 5 years which will certainly be more than I need to finish out my military time!
I am relieved by the news but also in awe at God’s faithfulness! I can’t thank you enough
Pastor Mark for your encouragement, and prayers to see this through! It is nothing less than miraculous that after a year of holding out, the most bureaucratic institution on planet earth would change their minds after claiming twice that my medical records had been thoroughly scrubbed and the shot posed no risk to my health. God HAS come through in such a big and profound way!
I hope this news encourages you as much as it has for me. Just AMAZING how God brings the day of victory and vindication in our lives.
Friends, We have an amazing God. He works in awesome and profound ways in our lives. I urge you to trust him! Cling to him! Cry out to him! Never stop believing him, or asking him! Your life matters greatly to God. There may be times he allows what appears to be crushing losses or overwhelming disappointments. They will leave you at times bewildered, and confused. God has not lost sight of you. In time, you will see the amazing things God does for you.
I close by sharing this very special testimony note I received from the young missionary gal who converted all my cassette tapes to MP3’s so they could be put up on this website. Here is her story.
I am so thankful for The Rock. My life would be so different without it. I’d probably be working at NASA right now all depressed and disappointed because my dream for my life would not have been fulfilling to me at all. I know I would be lost and lonely. God saved me from myself. He saved me from a ton of disappointment and loneliness. And the best thing of all is he brought me to Him and he did it before I experienced the consequences of my selfishness and quest for human approval. He’s very merciful. Thank you Pastor Mark for starting The Rock. It really did change my life. Christina