Celebrating 2 Birthdays

We decided to celebrate Randy’s birthday in eastern Washington.  Keri’s handicapped brother has been going down in health and we all felt the burden to see him.  But there was Covid, and there was smoke from the fires.  Can we make this work?  Is it the right time?  We decided to go for it.  Randy started crying with joy the moment he saw us.  And we had a wonderful reunion.

Little did we know that God wanted to us to have another birthday party while there.  We stayed at the local Comfort Inn.  Our son Nathan talked about swimming since the time we left.  We arrived at 10 pm, and found that the pool was open until 11.  “Can we swim?”  After 6 hours of driving, I said . . . “yes”.  And we had a blast.  It was just the two of us.  The next day, after the birthday festivities, we arrived at the Inn at 10pm.  “Can we swim?”  I was so tired, but it was our last night.  Again, the pool was empty until about 10:30 when a lady came and went in to the hot tub. We both wanted the hot tub before going to bed, so we asked if we could join.

We made small talk, but it was evident that she was hurting inside.  She made a comment about coming to the Inn to get away from her problems.  I asked if I could pray for her.  Surprised, she replied “yes”.  I explained that Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weak, weary and heavy laden.  Gentle am I, humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your soul.”  He was speaking to her now and I prayed.  She began to cry.  After praying, she asked “Why is life so hard?”.  I explained that God allows these things so that we would come closer to Him.  She continued to share her burdens and I shared the Gospel.  She listened and seemed to respond to each point.  She understood that we are sinners in need of a Savior.  I introduced Jesus to her and explained how much she is loved.  “Would you like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”  She said “yes”.  As she prayed, she thanked God for loving her and taking her burden.  She confessed that Jesus died for her sins and was forgiven.  After her prayer, we continued to talk.  She said she felt her burden lifted.  I asked her if she knew of a church near her home.  She didn’t.  I felt led to ask if she wanted to be baptized.  Surprisingly, she said “yes”.  Nathan and I baptized her there in the hot tub.  She was full of joy.

As Nathan and I went back to the room, we debriefed as to what took place.  Nathan was excited to tell me that he had the same thoughts of talking, baptism and giving her my business card.  Even before I said a word, Nathan was having the same thoughts.  The Holy Spirit was confirming His leading and we rejoiced together.  We experienced a spiritual birthday in that pool.  What tremendous joy we experienced together.  So unexpected,  So wonderful.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 says, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 

May God use each one of you to bring a blessing to others.

Richard

(This account was part of a message shared by Richard Nakamura during our JCC Zoom Worship time on Sunday, September 27th.)