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  • Writer's pictureRoger Duffy

Waves upon my life

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Have you ever experienced the call of GOD upon your life? I can only explain it as a gentle, but consistent wave like the ocean upon the sands of the shore. It draws back the sand to the ocean wave by wave and so does the grace of GOD in my life, it draws me to Him. It is persistent, it is consistent and it has no fear of being asked for conformation even more than once. Where once it calls you back to worship with song, now it is calling for your every step to worship Him with obedience.

The first time the wave hit me and drew me to His will, was in the city of Borisov in the country of Belarus. We were on the second mission trip to try to encourage a small church of but four people by doing evangelism work in that city. Taking an afternoon lunch in a small restaurant in the center square, the team of twelve nearly filled the place and at one point the missionary stood and offhandedly said, “Maybe you should send someone to Belarus to work”. My pastor responded to him, but my heart started to pound almost so much so that I was fearful that someone may see it. All the time I thought of my fellow team members that each and every one of them was better suited to go than I. Each and every one of them I lifted up to GOD's as a better candidate then me with all sincerity, but GOD waves would not stop.

The next wave came just a day later in the hostel that the team was staying in as we worked in Belarus. It was before bed time and my roommate and I were going to pray for the work that had been done and the work of days to come. As I started to pray, but GOD overwhelmed me with His desire and love for the people of Belarus. He emphasized the abandonment and disregard of this country by other nations at different times in history like the time in WW2, when Hitler’s pursuit of Russia annihilated this small country. Even Minsk, the capital of Belarus, only has 3 buildings left standing after the invasion. Now, it is only a year after the tragedy in Chernobyl, Ukraine, this small agricultural country of Belarus was blocked off from all Europe and Russia because of the radioactivity on their produce. It was as if everyone screamed that they were unwanted, but GOD whispered in a powerful way. “I want them” oh how the LORD is looking for the broken hearted and downcast. This opening of the heart of GOD in my prayer overwhelmed me and translated into my prayer with words that could not be expressed, as tears were streaming down my face. To my surprise, after the prayer time was finished and I looked down before my feet, the floor had a large pool of tears before me. I felt the uniqueness of me praying in such a way was more than odd and so I looked to my roommate and he just said, “I have been there too”. How reassuring it was that I was not the only one who cried in intersession for another people.

The next wave was in the small city of Chekov, Russia and we were in a rickety old bus coming from Venikovo and entering back into Chekov where we had started a church the year before. I just received the revelation, that even though this was a private bus for the team and it was not too fancy by any US standards, it was to the people here like the finest penthouse in NY city. My understanding seemed to escape my culture for a moment and as I looked out the window, I saw a man making his way through the woods to the small river to do his wash. He was struggling some with two very large bundles of close wrapped up in a sheet or something in a cart. I was overwhelmed with how far I was from the people of this country. I was sitting in a private bus, the seat was held up by a wooden box, the curtains looked like they came from an old funeral home and the bus looked like it came from the fifties. This man had no transportation even with his large burdens, only a cold stream to do his wash and bushes to hang his wardrobe to dry. GOD challenged my heart at this point that I had to walk with the people to help to remove the burden of their sins from their lives. As shabby as the bus was, would I humble myself to walk with this pilgrim?

The next wave was at the last meeting of the crusade and although I’ve seen GOD move in powerful ways that I did not mention, my heart was downcast: we were leaving and this may well be the last time I ever would come back to this land. I took no more than five minutes to enter the bus in the front of the church to thank GOD for this wonderful experience and pray that He who started this work would faithfully finish it. As the team started to enter the bus one by one with joy, I sat just a bit downcast. Then I heard a still small voice that said “See that lady? That is going to be your wife”. As I looked out the window at the church standing on the sidewalk waving good- bye, I saw a lady with a red raincoat waving. Could it be? Oh, I wish I had enough faith to believe what the still small voice had said, but I did not. I laughed as surly as I was standing next to Sarah in the Bible. How could this be? I did not even say one word to her. Now we are heading for Moscow for the last day and then home. Imposable…utterly imposable, as I chuckled to myself.

The next wave is when we had left Moscow airport and had landed in Finland for the night. We had rooms prepared for us in Helsinki in a large hotel. After two weeks in Russia it was unreal with the comforts in our room. Hot water, plush towels, modern bathrooms with toilet paper and soap, clean sheets and a warm bed. It almost felt like heaven. When my roommate was taken a hot shower, I decided to enjoy the bed and take some time to read GODs word. As I started to read the book of Psalms, the words seemed to speak so clearly to me, that when my roommate came out, I asked him if we could pray before turning in for the night. He agreed and I explained that I felt the Lord was calling me to go back to Russia and Belarus for a year or less. I knew that The Lord could take care of both churches and that there were pastors there, but I just felt lead. We prayed and lifted this up to the LORD that I was willing to go if this was His will.

The last wave was more persistent and continual. It seemed as if every service the word was spoken, was just for me and the Holy Spirit was confirming it inside and out in every service. This was more than just noticeable to me; this was very unusual in my walk with the LORD. So finally, after few weeks of this happening, I decided to go to the altar and lay down my life. My prayer was all too simple and we all believed this, but I just wanted to tell GOD that I was serious. “Lord, this is your life not mine, it was you that redeemed me with the blood of Jesus Christ and I am yours. If you want me to go somewhere, I will go. I lay down my job, for it was you who has blessed me with a steady income and all of my finances are yours. My cars, they are yours and even my house is yours as well.” As I was praying this, one of the pastors came by and layed his hand on me and someone next to me started to pray for us. In a moment he took his hands off us and walked around to kneel before me. He said, “I know you are not here to accept the LORD, so how can I pray for you”? I explained that I felt GOD was directing my life in some way and that I wanted to lay my life down before Him on His altar.” He prayed for me that “GOD would hit me over the head with a big stick, so that I would know, that I would know where the Lord is directing my path in the way that I would glorify Him”. I really didn’t want the “big stick”, I was willing just to go. It is easy to look in hindsight at all that I have written, but I had not put the pieces together at this point. In all truth it may just be that I needed that big stick. I was only hoping it may be some time before it landed.

The next wave did not feel wet at all. It was Monday night and I was on the second shift at work. This was just the day after me praying at the altar on Sunday night. The company was going into an inline process through the whole factory. They wanted the work to almost go hand to hand from the start to the end result. They had spent a lot of time and resources on modernization the old factory and I received the task to dismantle a large polishing wheel holder. This was a heavy duty I- beams with steel plates welded across the beams that sat on steel plate footings that were lagged to the cement floor. There was many one -inch in diameter steel rods, a foot and a half long welded to the plates and they were sticking out forward to place the wheels on. The weight of this thing was almost that of a car. I was by myself on my hands and knees trying to remove just some of the lags, until someone would come to help. I had no concern that I was directly under the rods and that this structure was very top heavy. I was under it on my hands and knees. Little did I know that whoever installed this had burned out his cement drill and had no others of that size, so he used the larger size drill. After all there were four lags bolts on each of the plate footings. Well, I removed the properly installed ones and the weight of the six-foot wheel holder ripped the other lags out of the oversized holes and it came crashing down on me. I do not know how I survived the rods that are spaced two foot apart because I am a big guy. To my surprise the wheel holder was immediately all around me and on top of me with a large crash. I could hardly move and there was no way I could get out. I should have died, I should have been pierced, I should have had broken bones or even a broken back. How did I survive? I can only say this in all truth, “I felt the hand of GOD on my back.” My fellow employees came over and lifted the wheel rack up far enough for me to scoot out like a little mouse. I was more that excited and exclaimed that “The LORD had saved me!”. My friend, who knew me well, said “Well, maybe it was an angel”. I replied “Who has charge over the angels? Give GOD all the glory”. This was my “Big Stick” and it landed hard.

This was like a new lease on my life to me and I had to call my pastor and tell of this wonder that just happened to me. When I reached him, he said “I am going to my parents’ down south for Christmas, when I come back, we will talk.” This seemed more than acceptable to me, so a week past, but he did not call me. No, he set up microphones in front of the of the sanctuary and asked if anyone had a testimony? This was a Sunday night service in a large church and I did not feel like going up fount of the church and testify. This to me would hurt more than the big stick, but I knew I must give glory to GOD. So, up I went explaining that the LORD has been moving on me at church and that I went to the altar to pray and the prayer of the pastor with the big stick. Then what happened at my work the next night, I felt that I needed to explain how there is a contrast with my testimony and the life of Israel in Egypt. I explained that I believe our GOD is a miraculous GOD. He performed wonder after wonder in Egypt to deliver His people (Israel) and He is more than capable of doing this in our lives as well, but this is not where I live. I seem to live most of my life following Him in the desert of life, trusting Him in feeding me, giving me water to drink and most of all to bring me home to the New Jerusalem. My voice was crackly and I could hardly see in fount of me, but I gave GOD all the glory that I could walk away with only one small scratch on my arm. As I sunk in my pew seat and listened to someone else giving a testimony, I thought to myself that I really blew it and need to apologize to the pastor for my inability to explain what happened. I waited in my seat for a while as he greeted people leaving at the main door, but to my surprise I was not even able to say one word before he joyfully approached me and said, “The Holy Spirit spoke to me and I believe you are to go back to Russia and Belarus for a year or so.” He assured me then, “I am saying this as your brother in Christ and not the head pastor of this church”. I was floored!!! I tried to sound spiritual and said, “I will pray about this.” But I did not have to.

After all, who is the only one who knew and had all the information? Yes, it is only GOD and He was the common thread in this tapestry of events and it was His gentle waves that brought me to this point and will bring me home. For the first time I was so assured that GOD was calling me and all I could say was, “Send me”.

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