I heard Bro. J. T. Pugh tell a story of one of the four men who made such a dramatic impact on his life. He mentioned that this man was an evangelist back in the 1940’s. The nation was still in the midst of great financial throes from the Great Depression and from the Second World War. He said that this man was preaching a revival in a little small town in the deep South and that there had been a breakthrough and that people were receiving the Holy Ghost and being baptized in Jesus Name and that great progress was being made in this little town (he did not mention the geographical location). In the midst of this great spiritual revival, this man began to worry about his family. His worries were related to the financial pressures and difficulties because the church could not afford to sufficiently pay him. Although he was having the opportunity to work as a laborer during the day and then conduct revival services at night, he was still under great constraints. More or less deciding on a whim, he made a very crucial decision.
He spoke with the pastor and told him that he had heard that he could go to a city quite a few miles away and work in the cotton fields and pick cotton with his family and then he would come back and restart the revival services. From hearing Bro. Pugh tell the story, I got the impression that the pastor tried to reason with him and even help him as much as possible with his finances to keep him from going but to no avail.
The man took his family and went to the town so they all could pick cotton during the harvest season. They started picking cotton and were into the third week and were gaining some good ground as day laborers picking cotton. However, one morning during this third week, the man was up cooking breakfast before his family had gotten out of bed. He was cooking a few flour biscuits and firing some bacon when for some reason he spilled the entire contents of the hot grease down his leg. The hot grease essentially “cooked” his entire leg and there he was lying in the floor, writhing in pain, crying out in distress, when his wife come running into the kitchen to see what was the matter.
This evangelist for three long days and nights found that his entire body was saturated in the pain and seemingly every home remedy that they tried was unable to touch the pain in his body. During one of those nights of pain, with tears flowing down his cheeks, whether in pain or in prayer, but either way, still tears, God came to him and begin to speak gently to his heart about the crucial decision that he had made in leaving this revival in the town that he had left. In the stillness of the night and the power of his tears, this man made a commitment to God that as soon as he could recover that he would return to the place of that revival.
The days passed and soon he was up and about. He went back to the cotton field and even though his leg was still somewhat painful, he lugged that cotton sack about picking cotton. He out-picked everyone in the fields because he found a purpose and that purpose was to get enough money to get himself and his family back to the point of revival.
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