The vision I mentioned in Part 1 about the long line of children greeting me in heaven happened seventeen years ago. Let’s look at the circumstances and pressures I faced at that particular time.
As I stated in the first section of Part 1, the Holy Spirit directed me to start a paint contracting company, but I was missing a few things, like paint brushes, ladders, truck, truck rack, scrappers, putty knives, management skills, prospective clients, and oh yes – money. In other words, I had nothing.
But I had faith in God and felt He was able to make it all happen.
In the Spring of 1994, I miraculously received a truck, equipment, and two house painting jobs. I sincerely thought I was on my way to feeding starving children in Africa.
Now, the story becomes a little blurry.
After completing a few painting jobs, I received some prophetic words about working and mentoring young people. And somehow, I believed these words meant I should hire young people to work for my painting company.
So, I took on more painting jobs and hired more people. The painting company prospered and everything seemed to be working out for the glory of God. Then, the painting business slowed down and I had fourteen employees who needed pay checks.
I fasted. I prayed. I cried. I reminded the Lord of the starving children in Africa. I threw everything I could think of toward heaven, hoping something would stick to the throne of God.
At the end of my fast, I had a vision which showed an angel standing in the middle of the bank where my business checking account was located. I watched the angel hold back checks with his hands until sufficient funds arrived in my account to cover them. This seemed liked my answer from the Lord.
Just so you know: I had three large checks owed me. Plus, I had a backlog of scheduled painting jobs. I just needed to skate on thin financial ice for four or five days at the most.
That night I wrote out 42 checks to suppliers and employees, and mailed them.
The three large checks arrived late and every painting job logged on my books canceled. I had no cash flow and bounced 42 checks. The insufficient funds fees alone ate up whatever cash was in my account. It was a mess!
Parents threatened me. Kids were upset. Police investigated me. Suppliers called at all hours of the day. The man who had heard the cries of starving children in Africa had the reputation and popularity of a snake.
What did I do?
I faced the mess and walked through it one horrendous day at a time. A few painting jobs came my way and I tried to pay back people as much and as fast as I could. I lived with a friend and ate Ramen Noodles often.
Thus, when the vision about the line of children greeting me in heaven occurred in the early months of 1995, I was a shell of my former self. Almost all of my friends were gone. I owed thousands of dollars. My truck payments were three months behind and the light at the end of the tunnel could not be seen by me.
Yet , the pressures and circumstances I faced seemed small compared to not fulfilling my calling and facing that unending line of children.
How did I keep my calling alive in this valley of the shadow of death?
(Continued in Part 3)