My Greatest Fear (Part 1)

On December 24, 1993, I was a divorcee living with a friend in a small Iowa town. Like most mornings, I arose early to spend time with the Lord before enjoying Christmas with my family. My spiritual attitude was, “Okay, let’s get this over so we can eat turkey.”

Yet, even with my low level spirituality, heaven brought me a life-changing vision.

In it, I saw thousands and thousands of starving children in Africa. They were screaming at the top of their lungs from painful hunger. Their mothers held the children and the fathers stood next to them. All of the parents stared at me with pleading eyes…would I help them? Please!

The screams echoed in my ears and pierced my heart. I fell to the carpet and wept so much I thought the anguish would swallow me up right there on the spot.

Then, the screams stopped, and the vision disappeared into a deep blackness. As I caught my breath, the Holy Spirit said, “They don’t cry much after three days.”

After that, I wept even more.

I later learned that when starving children quit crying, the process is almost irreversible. They just slowly die.

When the vision ended, the Holy Spirit directed me to start a paint contracting company so I could help the poor and hungry children. I agreed to do it.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. How well have I succeeded to date?

The paint contracting company ended up totally destroying my finances, all of my friendships, my goals, and every particle of my reputation. There were times when I begged the Lord to throw me under a Greyhound Bus and put me out of my misery.

Paint contracting: Failure.

As far as helping the poor and needy children, I have sent a few dribbles of dollars here and there, but not enough to stop the echoes of the crying babies in my ears.  Yes, I’ve fasted and prayed, but even that has been sporadic over the last  nineteen years.

Helping Poor and Needy Children: Failure.

So, if I’m a total failure in all what the Holy Spirit directed me to do, why do I even keep trying, right?

During the horrendous years with my paint contracting company, I spent most of my mornings in earnest prayer. I had no other options because it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other, just to survive. I needed God’s grace each day.

Then, one morning I had another vision.

In the vision, I saw myself in heaven. It was a glorious place, filled with peace and love. As I stood there, enjoying myself, a long line of young black children assembled themselves to greet me. The line looked like it wound itself through heaven for miles and miles.

Not knowing what else to do, I walked over to the first child. His face radiated love, joy, and peace.  There was something about his manner that let me understand he wanted to tell me something. I stood there, awaiting his words.

“I died and didn’t make it into my divine destiny because you failed to fully accomplish your calling,” he said without bitterness. Every word was backed with love.

I stood there, crushed by his words as he left and disappeared.

The next young black child spoke the same words to me. And so did the next. And the next. And the next. On and on. It seemed to be a never ending line of black children who died because I failed to make it into my calling.

There will be those who will scoff at this vision and declare, “God’s grace will cover all of our mistakes on earth.”

My answer to scoffers: “Yes, His grace will eventually cover us, but what about 2 Corinthians 5:10?”

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad

My greatest fear is at the Judgment Seat of Christ I might be faced with a line of children like I saw in that vision. Each child telling me how I failed them.

So, what am I doing to keep my calling alive?

(Continued in Part 2)

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26 Comments

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26 responses to “My Greatest Fear (Part 1)

  1. wow, this really makes me think what lines I will face.

  2. Holly Michael,

    Thanks. The Judgement Seat of Christ will probably cause us all some anxious moments.

  3. Caddo,

    Thanks for a big WOW today.

  4. Great post. rather eerie but I know God has a reason. I hope you are going to tell us the rest.

  5. Okay, now I’m feeling crushed with you. I was so hoping that line of children were there because of your prayers, somehow. Listening and waiting to here what to do to keep our callings alive. You have a special heart, Mr. Larry. God bless you!

  6. Naphtali,

    Thanks. If you’ve ever read the Judgment Seat of Christ by Rick Howard or General William Booth’s (Founder of Salvation Army) Vision of Heaven, you would not the similarities. Both are awesome.

  7. Debbie,

    Thanks. I can close my eyes and still see parts of both visions today.

  8. Hi Larry,
    I have read the story before, but this is a new angle on how it affected you then, and how it may still today despite God’s grace. God bless
    Jim

  9. So, what am I doing to keep my calling alive?

    At this point I don’t know … but this I do know, Larry, “…..being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6.

    Failure. I understand!! Thanks for the testimony.

  10. Blessed Dad,

    Thanks. Yes, I’ve used these visions for other teachings in the past.

  11. rogerw,

    Thanks. Your scripture is one of my favorites and I certainly understand failures.

  12. Ann

    Thanks for sharing, Larry
    This post is the latest in a series of ‘awakening’ posts I have come across lately. The points you raised caused me to stop. and think. and hope and pray that the scales will balance out… We have so much, and there are many who have so little… God help us.
    Blessings
    ann

  13. Ann,

    Thanks. Indeed, we have been given much, but because of that, we have a higher accountability than other nations. We’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out in the future.

  14. I can relate my friend. The same things trouble me. So much suffering and here I sit on disability.
    BTW I still consider you my friend even if we do both know I can’t paint or dance. ;{)

  15. Ephraiyim,

    Thanks. Hasn’t quite gone the way we figured, right? But at least it’s only halftime in the game, we have the whole second half to do our stuff. Win one for the Gipper, Tony!

    P.S. Don’t touch the paint brushes, puh-lease.

  16. Wow, I’m in full agreement!! And you don’t know how much I needed to hear that this morning. We have an adopted son we are having issues with. And I have to remember, he is a child of God, and God is saving him through us. 🙂 Thanks for your honesty. Its much needed.

  17. Reality of Christ,

    Thanks. I looked at your site and your children. Wow! They are gorgeous. May the Lord bless your family and your calling.

  18. I think one of my most memorable Ravenhill lines came from his ‘Judgement Seat of Christ’ message . . . “God; stamp eternity on our eyeballs”.

    Don’t normally like to promote my own stuff on another blogger’s site, but I have to paste in a poem I wrote awhile back. Hope you don’t mind.

    From Luke 16

    Beggar at the Gate of God

    Was rich with all the world could give;
    his need escaped his eye.
    He saw the beggar at his gate,
    but daily walked on by.

    Both would die and end their days;
    the beggar begged no more.
    Was taken up to heaven’s home,
    with all it had in store.

    The rich man now the one in need;
    outside the gate he peers.
    He now the beggar at His gate,
    and now he sees through tears.

    He could have been the hand of God
    and helped the one in need.
    God watched him through the beggars eyes
    to see if he would heed.

    Rich with all the world could give
    he chose to let him lay,
    but now in need it’s he who begs
    and God who walks away.

  19. Mike,

    This is an awesome poem and fearful at the same time. Thank you. Thank you.

  20. I agree with Larry, Mike. And this isn’t promoting your stuff, this is ministry! Thank you! 🙂

  21. Hi Larry,

    You are on fire and my heart needs to warm up, so thank you so much for sharing. I like how candid and honest you are, but never forget that parallel to that queue of children I see another long queue of people from all nations and races whose lives you touched and transformed deeply because of your attentiveness to the voice of the Lord, your humility, your deep wish to follow the will of God, and the sheer determination to please Him and no one else.

    And remember! It ain’t over yet. Like I said, some of us are warming up but you are already on fire.

    Love,

    Mercedes

  22. anewcreation,

    Thanks. It ain’t over yet!

  23. Hi Larry,

    The important thing is that you obeyed the vision that the Lord gave you.

    As you know, a wise mentor once told me, “Don’t despair when God seems slow in acting. Just continue to obey him in your daily life. Be patient, and wait for him to act in his perfect timing, for he knows best. You might have to go through some tough times, but stay the course, be faithful, and trust him. Moses had to wait forty years tending sheep in the desert before God called him to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. And David had to wait twenty-three years after God anointed him as king before he became king over all of Israel, and part of those years were spent as a fugitive, hiding in caves from Saul who wanted to kill him. So, my brother, wait, be patient, be prepared for a long journey, and above all, trust and obey through whatever difficulties he might lead you.”

    Sometimes God gives us a mission that will not be fulfilled in our lifetime, but our task is to obey him in doing our part towards fulfilling that mission.
    The fulfillment of that mission is completely in God’s own timing.

  24. Derrick,

    Thanks. Part of the process in my journey has been me coming to the realization that I can’t make it happen, only He can. And if He chooses not to make it happen, for whatever reasons, that’s not a problem with me. I’ll still seek Him everyday.

  25. Pingback: My Greatest Fear (Part 2) | Larry Who

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