A Wonderful Miracle

That’s the way I felt yesterday morning, as I sat in Second Baptist Church, listening to the minister who was my pastor for nearly thirty something odd years. He wasn’t just my Pastor, he was my friend and brother. My whole family felt the same way about him.
I remember the first time I ever saw him. He walked in to the restaurant. A quiet man! Everyone knew he was the new pastor at Second. So we really gave him the once over (as is the habit of true southerners). My husband and I hadn’t been married too long and were looking for a church. Soon we visited Second Baptist to see what this pastor was made of. Ha ha. We never left! We loved him from the start.
If there ever was a man, God had his hand on, it was this man ( My Daddy was such a man also!)! When he walked to that podium and started speaking, you knew the power of God was flowing threw him. I can honestly say that in all those years I never sat under his teaching or preaching that he didn’t hold my interest completely. Life wasn’t always good to him though. He had heartaches, just as we all do. His marriage fell apart around the same time mine did! It seemed my spouse and his spouse both decided that they wanted to “FIND themselves.” Off they went(not together) and the preacher and I were left to pick up the pieces of our lives.
All the church members stood behind him. We could see how his heart was breaking. He had two teenagers to finish raising. When I would talk to him, he would always ask me to pray for her.
Then one day he took a little time off . I know in my heart he did a lot of praying, just as I had to do also. But when he returned he had that thing settled between God and himself . HE was a different man. God had given him the victory and You know something, from that point I doubt he ever looked back.
It isn’t easy, starting life all over when you’re in your forties. I had my son who was just fifteen at the time. He looked after me and I looked after him. Preacher Land had his two boys, and I am sure that helped more than anything else.
That church grew under his leadership and a lot of souls were saved and won into God’s kingdom.
Then on day, when he was on a trip to the Holy Land, God had it all planned out and He met a sweet, kind wonderful christian lady who would become his wife. She was on her own journey there. I can just imagine God planning all this out. They met and the rest is history. I have never seen a couple more committed to each other. They were called to labor together at Eastside Baptist Church. She stood side by side with him and was everything a preachers wife should be.
But for some reason God allowed Preacher Land to have a stroke. It shocked all of us because to us he was invincible. It has been touch and go since then. We all kept thinking “Oh! He will beat this and be back with us before long”. It hasn’t happened yet but God is still in charge.
My sister Sue called me and said Homecoming was at Second Baptist Church and that Preacher Land was going to preach. Would I go with her? I said I wouldn’t miss that for the world.
The church was packed and even though he sat in a chair, he was the same old Preacher Land. Still such a wonderful preacher and man. I thought about the song we sang as children! ” I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart” Because there was such joy in that service! Joy on every face. Joy at seeing and hearing our friend, brother and pastor preach again! God’s presence was so prevalent that I had chill bumps up and down my arms. A friend of mine calls them “goosebumps”.
I watched June Land as she so tenderly and lovingly looked after her husband. I silently thanked a loving God for bringing them together. It has been such a beautiful thing to watch. Who knows! I still believe that my GOD can do anything He wills, so just maybe He still has the best yet to come for Preacher Gene Land! If not here, then in Heaven where all of us will be together forever and ever. I would love to be there first, so I could witness my friend and brother when he sees Jesus for the first time. Talking about shouting! Won’t that be glorious!

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Victoria

That’s beautiful! You should submit some of the things you write to Guidepost Magazine or Readers Digest……they are so inspirational! You sure have a gift for writing. Love you!

Gene Land

Peggy;
Who said you couldn’t write. What you wrote about Sunday at Second was wonderful!! Thanks, my friend.

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