I don’t think a value can be placed on what we choose to do with our “down time.” My Mom would use her afternoons to have a little talk with God. Let me tell you more about her.
My Mom was raised in a denominational religion, but when her and my Dad married, she converted to his family’s denominational beliefs. She was always a spiritually-minded woman, and by that I mean that she thought about God and wanted to raise her children to know Him. As a busy mother of six, she made sure that we took time to pray before meals and attend church services weekly. But as my Mom read her Bible, she found discrepancies in what she read, and what was being taught to her family. She reminded me of the Bereans in Acts 17:11, “…for they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”
When she brought these discrepancies to the head of the local church we went to, he told her that we (meaning the leaders and members of the congregation) follow the leadership of the hierarchy set up in the church, and the members are not qualified to interpret the words of the Bible. As he said these words to her, he closed my Mom’s Bible and pushed it back across the desk to her. Mom guaranteed him right then, that her shadow (and the rest of our family also) would never darken the doorsteps of that building again! And she meant it!
Now, my Mom found herself in quite a quandary. She had left the church she was raised in, left the church she converted to, where was she to go? She loved God, but felt she didn’t know how to worship Him. My Dad was a busy man-sometimes working three jobs at a time to provide for our large family. My Mom was the one who “checked out” congregations for our family, and then would fill my Dad in on her findings when he was home. To say that my Mom was a “go-getter” is to state her personality mildly! She would not rest until she had some answers. I remember her watching the televangelists on local stations also to see what they had to say.
Now let’s go back to the little talks with God. When all six of us were in school, she would sit in the afternoon and use her time to pray. The house was quiet for a bit, so she could concentrate. One afternoon, her prayer was interrupted by a knock on the door. When she answered it, there were some people there who said that they would like to talk to her about the one, true church! Of course my Mom welcomed them in, and sat for the rest of the afternoon listening to them as they reasoned with her from the Scriptures. She knew that God had heard her little prayer, and sent these laborers to our door! Workers from Ponca City, Oklahoma, had taken a week of vacation from their jobs to come to central Iowa to spread the Word of God. By the providence of God, out of over 12,000 people in the town of Boone, they found my Mom!
Over the next few months, my Dad, my Mom, two older married sisters and their spouses, myself and my boyfriend, and my younger brother and two younger sisters-all were immersed for the forgiveness of our sins and added to the Lord’s church. Who would have known-besides our Lord-what one little prayer, and one little knock on the door would bring about?!
But the story is not finished yet. The ripple-effect is still taking place today. All six of the children in our family chose Christian spouses, and have gone on to instill these beliefs in our children. My parents were blessed with twenty-one grandchildren, many who already have come into the faith also (some are not to the age of accountability yet).
My husband, Randy, and I were blessed to have attended the Bear Valley Bible Institute, and were so thrilled when our daughter and son-in-law, Christopher and Evie, also chose to attend there and be taught. A story that we love to tell, is how Randy got to “pay it forward” while on campaign for the school one time in California. He actually got to study the Bible with a woman who had answered the door in tears and asked, “Are you from God?” He studied with her, she was convicted and was baptized into the Lord that very night, a flashback of my Mom years before!
I can’t tell you how very thankful I am for the many ways God worked in my life during that summer of 1979.
I saw His providence: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I saw a true, seeking heart of my Mother, whose prayer was heard and answered: “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
And I saw the diligent laborers for the Kingdom who came to small town Boone, Iowa, to knock on doors and share the Good News: “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!'” (Romans 10:14-15) Your feet are truly beautiful to our family! You changed the direction of our lives…for eternity.
Now, let me ask you Christian women again: “How do you choose to spend your ‘down time’?”
A little prayer… A little knock on the door…
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” -Proverbs 31:30
By Robin Martin
Robin Martin and her husband Randy are members at the South Twin Cities Church of Christ in Rosemount, MN, where Randy ministers as an elder. They just celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary! They have seven children together, four of whom have married Christian spouses, giving them eight grandchildren! Robin enjoys running her in-home licensed daycare, teaching the baby and toddler classes for the church, leading ladies’ devotionals, and has had the privilege of speaking at Ladies Days in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. She loves to sew, quilt, cook, host events, and spend time with her family and friends!