As for God, His way is perfect… (Psalm 18:30, N.K.J.V.)
A pastor asked an evangelist to come and preach a weeklong revival in his church. Each service a love offering would be taken up to pay the evangelist, and he would sleep in the guest bedroom of the parsonage following each night’s service. The deal also included three meals a day at the parsonage.
The evangelist accepted the invitation despite the fact that he was at that time struggling with his own faith. A series of recent setbacks had caused him to question God’s ways and wonder why God hadn’t spared him from it all. Still, though, he was an evangelist, and it was his job to preach revivals. So, he went and did the best he could.
After three dry and fruitless nights of services, the pastor knew that something was wrong. The evangelist’s sermons were prepared well enough and the oratory was acceptable, but there was no real emotion to the messages. They lacked fire. They lacked zeal. They lacked heart. It was as if the evangelist was preaching what he was supposed to preach, not what he truly believed.
Very early the next morning the pastor knocked on the evangelist’s bedroom door. When the evangelist opened the door, the pastor stepped inside the room and began a conversation. He said, “Brother, I can tell that something is wrong in your life. I’m a preacher myself, and I know when a preacher is just going through the motions in the pulpit. I’m just here to ask if there is anything that you’d like to talk about.” Tears began to stream down the evangelist’s face, and for the next several minutes he told the pastor all about the recent setbacks that had crippled his faith. After sharing it all, he said, “Pastor, I just don’t understand why God has allowed these bad things to befall me.”
Before the pastor could respond, his wife called out, “Breakfast is ready; you two come and eat.” Both men dutifully obeyed and were delighted to find a full-course breakfast, complete with a plate of piping hot buttermilk biscuits, awaiting them at the dining room table. Seeing the biscuits inspired the pastor to have a burst of spiritual genius. As the three people sat down to enjoy the breakfast, he said, “Let me bless the meal.” Then he proceeded to pray this very strange prayer:
Lord, I absolutely hate the taste of buttermilk. You know that about me. And I hate lard. You know that, too. And you also know that I don’t like the taste of raw, white flour. But Lord, when all of these bad-tasting things get mixed together and baked, they make for delicious biscuits, and You know that I do love my wife’s biscuits. So, help us all to understand, Lord, that when things happen that we don’t like and we don’t know why You aren’t rescuing us from them, we just need to let You finish Your mixing and baking. If we will do that, the biscuits You’ll have for us in the end will be absolutely delicious. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
The pastor’s prayer/sermon wasn’t lost on the evangelist, and that night he preached with a renewed faith and enthusiasm. The congregation responded in kind, and a true spirit of revival broke out that caused the revival services to continue for two weeks rather one. At the close of the final service, the evangelist told the congregation, “I want to especially thank your pastor for the way he has helped my own spiritual struggles over the course of my stay with him. Through a simple prayer that he prayed over a plate of biscuits one morning, I have to say that I’ve experienced revival myself.”