I have a hard time NOT looking at the books people keep around their homes.
While visiting my mother-in-law I picked up a little pamphlet she had saved from her uncle’s home after he died some years ago. Titled, Twenty Choice Messages by J.D. Carlson, it was compiled by friends of his who dedicated it “to those who have received rich blessing and spiritual benefit through 48 ½ years of his loyal labors for the Lord as pastor, evangelist, radio minister, and author of many hymns and sermons.”
48 ½ years! That got my attention.
In one little essay entitled “Is Anything Too Hard for God?” Pastor Carlson unpacks Genesis 18:14. I’ve included just the headings of his sections here:
- First of all there is no promise too hard (for God) to fulfill.
- There is no prayer too hard for Him to answer.
- There is no problem too hard for God to solve.
- Then, no person is too hard a case for God to save and bring to himself.
- There is no church too hard for God to revive.
That last one hit me squarely between the eyes. I’ve been guilty of thinking certain churches and denominations are just too far gone. God is not constrained, ever! And might he be pleased to use his chosen ones with disabilities to call them back?
I had never heard of J.D. Carlson, which is a reminder that someday few will remember those who labor for us today – like Piper, Keller, Carson.
But, Lord willing, their books will remain, and God-honoring books – or even little essays – can encourage hearts decades later. And I’m grateful God preserved that little collection of messages for me to find in October 2010.