God’s Amazing Grace on Sunday

If you have been reading the most recent blog posts, you may have gotten the impression that last weekend was somewhat busy for us. That would be a very correct impression. In fact, between after the puppetry school on Saturday afternoon and the youth conference Saturday evening, I was wiped out physically and emotionally–and I still had a Sunday School lesson to prepare.

I seriously considered calling in on Sunday to cancel my class. It would not be a big problem, the students could sit in on other great classes. Besides, I was getting a little discouraged with the class. I designed the material to reach out to unchurched young people who were studying English. Most weeks, however, I ended up teaching the English-speaking youth of our church. Sort of preaching to the choir.

Added to this was the fact of our current computer woes. There was no way for me to print out a worksheet–something I have done for every lesson so far.

Still, with all these difficulties, I got up early on Sunday morning and began to put together a lesson based on my recent readings in the life of John Newton. As I was putting the finishing touches on the material, I began to notice holes in my vision–the telltale sign that I was about to be hit with a migraine.

My migraines work like this: about five minutes before the headache, blank spots, or holes, appear in eyesight. The bigger the holes, the more intense the migraine. On Sunday morning, the holes were blocking about half of my vision.

That’s it! I thought. It’s official, God does not want me to teach today. The migraines I get–even the mild ones–usually leave me flat on my back for at least two hours–unable to function at any level.

As I was about to pick up the phone and call the pastor, I was struck with the fact that perhaps I was being tested. Perhaps God wanted to see how much it would take to get me to stay home from a ministry. I also remembered with irony several “motivational speeches” I had given to students in our ministry internship program here at the seminary, urging them to “soldier on” through adverse circumstances. I decided that perhaps God wanted me to put my actions where my mouth was, and “soldier on” as well.

By the time I got to church my head was throbbing. It felt like giant vice grips were being applied to every part of my skull. I gritted my teeth and went upstairs to our classroom. When I opened the door, the students were there–and there were three visitors! And one of them was from a local university–the poster child for our target audience.

As I began the lesson, I apologized for the fact due to my migraine, I might not be too coherent. As I was saying those words, I noticed something strange happening–my migraine was going away. Before I got halfway into the lesson, it was gone. In the history of my migraines (which goes all the way back to the eighth grade) that has never happened.

The theme of the lesson was “God’s Amazing Grace”. It was surely demonstrated to me in abundance that morning.


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