I was standing at a crossroads, and the frayed margins of my Bible testified to my mental state. Next to Psalm 118:27 I had scribbled this question: “Does ‘bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar’ mean you want us to join YWAM despite all my misgivings, Lord?”
Indeed it did.
It was our first week in YWAM; we were settling in and finding our bearings, and I had a strange backache and feeling of weariness which I attributed to trying (unsuccessfully) to throw our suitcases on top of cupboards. Wrong diagnosis, it turned out to be chickenpox.
The ten days of solitary confinement which followed were wonderful. I had never been more seriously ill in my life, nor had I ever had more uninterrupted time to soak in God’s presence, and in the absence of most other voices, I grew familiar with the sound of His.
The latest bee in Peter’s bonnet wore an archbishop’s mitre. He had come up with a daring (read ‘humbling’) evangelism strategy involving street preaching in seven cities across the UK, culminating in Canterbury (http://www.runningforarchbishop.co.uk/) and I was trying frantically to think of excuses not to join him. “It’s not my calling – it’s not my gift”, I explained sheepishly,the night before he was to go street-preaching in Cambridge. The other friend who was going to accompany him had also backed out last-minute, and I woke up the next morning trying to silence the argument between the voices of relief and reproach in my own heart. I reached for my smartphone (the voice of the internet) when the Still Small Voice echoed uncharacteristically loudly in my spirit: “Don’t. Reach for your Bible.”
1 Samuel 14 just happened to be my reading for the day, and God smote me. Yes, He still smites people. I went to Peter, who was picking listlessly at his cereal, and clung to him, completely disrupting his breakfast. “Do all that you have in mind, I am with you, heart and soul,” I announced.
I could barely believe my ears – we were going to be leading one of the two Circuit Riders outreach teams? We were just young DTS graduates ourselves! Eighteen people were being entrusted to our care, and we didn’t even know where in London we were staying until the night before we left! Olympics evangelism right after the Archbishop tour? Help!
It only took two weeks for God to change my whole life. Looking back, I told Peter, “this outreach has proven to me that God can do absolutely anything.” We saw people coming to faith every day. We saw the deaf healed and the lame walk. We prayed and a friend who was dying was brought back to life. We saw the formerly timid preaching the good news of salvation in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, but the most impossible miracle of all was this: we saw twenty young people of widely differing personalities and nationalities spend two weeks living out Acts 2:42-47 in a way that we had all thought was limited to the early church. Truly, our God still works wonders today, in his people, in my heart.
Thankyou all so much for your prayers and support — you are a vital part of all of this!
Please pray for God’s continued blessing as we help with the Discipleship Training School which starts in September.
And pray for Taryn, who will be in Cambridge this week recording her fourth album, ‘Those Who Dream’.
Grace and peace,
Peter & Taryn