I don’t remember where I got Lori Strickland’s name but one Saturday morning I was out calling and stopped by her home to invite her and her family to church. After a nice visit she promised me that she would attend church the next week. When Sunday morning came it was very, very cold and her furnace would not work.
Some would have used that as an excuse to avoid church. She was tempted. She got out a phone book and looked up a furnace repairman. When he answered the phone she told him that she had planned to attend church but that now she was going to stay home instead because of the furnace.
He listened for a while and then said, “I will be happy to come to your house, help fix it today under one condition.”
“What is the condition?”
“I will get your house warm if you will promise me that you will still attend church this morning”
The furnace repairman didn’t know where Lori planned to attend. Lori didn’t know the furnace repairman just happened to be a deacon in our church. His name was Denny Long.
Lori was spiritually hungry. Within a few weeks she came to understand her need to trust Christ for salvation. A few months later I baptized Lori. Her husband was an unbeliever but on Father’s Day he came and we gave him a nice gift. He rarely attended again and before my ministry ended there in Ohio the Stricklands moved to Florida.
One Sunday evening a few months later in our little village church I was conducting the service when the door opened and a family came in late. It was Lori and her children and her husband Gary. Gary was dressed in a suit and tie and he had a nice study Bible tucked under his arm. He was beaming. God had done for Gary in Florida what He had done for Lori in Ohio.
When we give what we have to Jesus he makes something of it. Ask the boy with the fishes and loaves. Only in eternity will we know what God has done with the skills and gifts we give to him. There will be a reward for the boy who gave up his lunch, and men and women who gave up their lives and there will be a reward for a thoughtful furnace repairman from Ohio, too. God give us more furnace repairmen who are spiritually sensitive and who will dedicate their skill to Jesus.
August 25, 2003