A messenger of the Lord…

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Numbers 22:27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam; and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand! I would kill you right now!” 30 But the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed down, falling on his face.

First, I apologize for not writing to this blog yesterday, but I felt awful yesterday morning. I’ve been struggling with a bad cold this week, but am feeling a little better. Your prayers are appreciated. Now then…

This is the only time in scripture in which a donkey talks to a human – in this case, to the prophet Balaam. It’s one of those stories that makes you raise an eyebrow, at least it is for me. C’mon Lord, a talking donkey? You can’t be serious. Now, I’ve never seen a talking donkey, but I’ve seen some unusual messengers of the Lord in my time.

Years ago I was with a group from our church in San Antonio serving people gathered in a large homeless community. We’d been going there regularly for 2-3 years and I was wondering if perhaps we might direct our efforts elsewhere. I just wasn’t sure we were having much of an impact where we were ministering.

I was thinking about this to myself one Saturday morning while we were again serving this homeless community. As I was considering the matter, I saw one of our homeless friends headed my way. He was obviously heavily intoxicated as he stumbled along, literally stopping right in front of me – weaving side to side as if he might fall down. But then, for an instant, he stood up perfectly straight. He looked me right in the eye and said as clearly as could be, “Pastor what you people are doing here is making a difference. Keep it up, for the Lord is with you.” I was astonished, to say the least.

No sooner had he given me the message, he was wobbling again and said in a slurred voice, “And now I’ve gotta pee.” At which point he stumbled over to a concrete wall and releaved himself. I kid you not.

What did I learn from this? The Lord can and will use any means to communicate just the right message at just the right time. We can’t get hung up on the messenger or we might miss a direct word from the Lord. Question: How might the Lord be trying to communicate with you in an unexpected way? Keep an open mind brothers and sisters.

Heavenly Father, speak for your children are listening. No matter who or what the message or the messenger. Amen.

 

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