Almost every time I’ve heard God speak, it changed me (not others).
I hauled hay for a living in 1979. I had given my life to Christ in May of that year.
My new life in Christ was changing me. The old was passing away and I was being renewed.
One day, we had put one load of hay into a barn and were driving back to the field for another on the open-air hay machine. As we drove, an alfalfa stem blew into my mouth. I started to chew it.
But it wasn’t hay. It was a Yellowjacket (wasp).
It was like I had just licked lightning. I spit him out in a nanosecond, but the damage was done. I hadn’t used the words that came out of my mouth since my salvation. I couldn’t hold them – they would have come out if Mom and Jesus had been standing there.
My tongue swelled so big I couldn’t close my mouth. I repented for living and especially for my vulgarity. The pain subsided surprisingly quick. I thanked God for answering my prayers; a silent prayer whispered in shame.
The next day we were rolling up another road. I was atop the loaded hay wagon. It was noon; my lunch awaited at the barn. I watched a bumblebee come out of the ditch ahead. I thought nothing of him as I looked to my side. I turned my head back just in time to see him fly right into my lips.
A bumblebee stings quick and hard. My lips swelled as fast as my tongue had the day before. More words.
I spent my lunch in prayer. I thought this message about my tongue and lips must have been about the vulgarities. As I prayed however, He spoke to me about things I had said about other Christians; in my own church and beyond, who didn’t measure up to my standards.
Think About it.
I know what God was telling me then and now. Those people I complained about? Christ had died for them. I count no less than 45 times sheep (or lambs) are mentioned in the gospels. Not one of those times were they disrespected.
We live for them, not because we are better than them, but because He loves them.
I read John 21:15-19 with my name inserted for Peter.