Dr. Humberto Alfaro, a professor of practical theology at the New York Theological Seminary in New York City was our teacher/pastor this week for Bible Hour in Ocean Grove and he shared with us this morning a wonderful story.
Pastor Alfaro had returned to his native El Salvador on one of his many mission trips home and was called to preach in a remote part of the country. After sharing a ride with a horde of chickens in the back of a rickety pick-up truck, he found himself on horseback for the remaining six hour journey. When he finally arrived at the out-of-the-way church, he was very sore and very tired.
After bringing the message, he was ready to find a secluded area where he could sleep, but was stunned to see the entire congregation (of perhaps 500 saints) lining up for prayer. The church’s pastor told him, “This is our time of healing…We pray for each person.”
I wanted to sleep, ” Pastor Alfaro confessed to us, “but if this is what they do, I had to do it—sleep would have to wait.”
Pastor Alfaro continued, “So one after the other the people approached the altar for prayer. ‘I have a headache, ’ one would say. The next would announce, ‘My stomach is upset, ’ and then yet another would, ‘I have an itch.’ Frustrated (and in need of sleep), I turned to he pastor and whispered, ‘Don’t you have Alka-Seltzer or Tylenol for these people?’ ”
“Brother Humberto, ” he said, “All we have is Jesus.”
The discovery, as paradoxical and extraordinary as it seemed, was that their physical, economic, and emotional poverty led them to spiritual wealth. Oh that we could be that close and in that much need of our Lord and Savior.
Corrie Ten Boom likely said it best when she declared, “You may never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
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