I received a text message from a friend a few days back that included a picture of a newspaper clipping. More specifically, it was a picture of one of my Dad’s many columns. I have no idea when the column was written, but the title of the column was Do You Have Time?
The friend who sent the article stated the following about it. “I’m not sure when this was written, but evidently at this moment in my life, it spoke to me. I just wanted you to know that your Father spoke into my life.”
Dad, Max Gardner, died in March 2014. It amazes me that, even today, his writings still inspire others. I believe it is worth sharing this article that spoke to this individual in hopes that it will speak life to someone else.
I heard this message several years ago, and it was passed on to me the other day:
He called my name…
The Master called my name one day because He needed someone to go. I said “Lord, in my spare time, between school, spending time with my husband, working from 8 to 6, and trying to coordinate a program for my community to help our children do better, I will help you look. See, I know I can’t go right now because I have so much to do.”
He said, “Well, where shall I find such a person? I thought I saw your name on my list of available people.”
“Well, Lord, that was the prayer that I prayed last year, but since then, things have changed.”
He said, “Like what?”
“Well, I’m working on my Ph.D. and I’m needed by so many people and my husband is always wanting something done, and on top of that my community EXPECTS me to help and give to them so...”
“Well, seeing that you’re busy, I’ll let you go, but we will talk again, if YOU have some time.”
I went on through the days, and the weeks, and the months completing my tasks as always. One evening, while studying for my comp exams, I received a call from the hospital concerning my husband. He had been in a terrible accident and was in critical condition. I dropped everything and ran to the hospital where I found my husband hanging on for dear life.
I immediately begin to pray “Lord, don’t take him now, I can’t bear it.” But my prayer echoed off the wall and returned into my own ear.
That next morning I left the hospital tired and weary, and walked in the door of my classroom just in time to began my comps. As the professors begin asking me questions, I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out.
In my mind, I begin praying, praying hard, but my prayer echoed again and I found myself upset at God because he was no where to be found.
I could not explain to them what was happening.
After leaving from my exams, I called into work because I was so distraught at all that was going on. I explained to my supervisor what had happened and she demanded that I take some time off.
After visiting my husband in the hospital that evening, I went home and fell into a sunken state crying and despairing. Just then I heard someone calling my name.
“Lord, is that YOU?”
“Well, yes, it is. Do YOU have some time? I wanted to see if I could just talk ..... “
Instead of waiting to hear His questions, I lashed out in anger and resentment. “How is it that when I needed You today, YOU couldn’t be found and last night I cried and cried but all I heard were echoes from the walls. My husband is dying, I’m flunking out of school, I may not have a job and You can just sit and say YOU want to talk?”
The Lord interrupted me in my foolish speaking. “My child, I was busy, out looking for someone to go and tell others about me when you cried. By the time I came to answer, you had moved on to something else. So, I decided to let your husband rest, and keep you home for a few days. That way MAYBE you would get in touch with Me, if YOU had some time. For you see, before your husband, your school, or your job needs you, I NEED YOU. And if all these things take you away from Me, I have to almost take them away from YOU, in order to get a moment. “
I calmed down and began to cry. For I remembered my prayer of wanting to go and do for the Lord.
He said “I just wanted to recheck with you to see if you knew of ANYONE that I could send to be a witness for Me and tell others about Me. .. any one at all....?”
With tears in my eyes and feeling so unworthy I said, “Lord, send me; I’ll go.”
God should never have to ask us if we have some time. When He died on the cross, He put aside everything to insure us eternal life. We should be more than GRATEFUL to do service for the Lord, to witness, and to tell ANYONE we can about Jesus.
Don’t let your “things,” WHATEVER they may be, get you so tied up that God has to become a meeting time in your yearly planner. He had more than enough time for us. The least we could do is have time for Him.