In 2006, I had a special encounter with God and learned a very valuable lesson. I specifically learned that I could not outthink God.
The presence of God showed up after I completed my last chemo treatment for lymphoma cancer. As you may know, when you finish your last treatment, you get to celebrate by ringing a bell. I was about to check out and leave without ringing the bell, and God stopped me.
I sensed him saying, " RING the BELL". I told God, "I can't.”
His answer back to me was that I HAD to ring it! I replied, "I can’t because I know there are people out there who will not make it to their last treatment and will never get to ring it.”
Like a child I asked Him, why must I ring the bell? God answered with more of an answer than I was expecting. He said, "RING the BELL because if you do not, you are robbing people of hope, joy, and peace!"
Then I understood what God was trying to teach me. Ringing the bell was more for others than for me. In that moment, I felt selfish and ashamed that I had not wanted to share that special bell with others. I was guilty of thinking more of myself than of the other patients.
After I rang the bell, it was worth it all! People were clapping and I saw so many smiles. It was overwhelming to see and hear the reaction of those around me.
Now I know it is better to be a doer of God's word not just a listener only. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."
After I understood God's purpose of ringing the bell, I rang that it so hard that I thought they were going to have to get the maintenance man to rehang the bell! I rang it LOUD and LONG!!!
I learned whatever God calls you to do, do it with all your heart! Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord not to men! To God Be the Glory!
Larry May is a lifelong citizen of Mobile, Alabama. He is a retired gantry crane operator. He and his wife, Angela, just celebrated their seventh-year wedding anniversary. They are very involved in ministry at Authentic Life Church, where they teach an adult life group and serve on the prayer team. They are active in JH Outback as coaches.