Last week I attended the ICRS Convention in Cincinnati, along with my son, Reid Edgett, who is also an author. It was a great week in so many ways. I met many people, and left with new friends. During this busy week, the Lord was speaking and I am grateful that I was listening.
One of the big events at the conference was to be able to attend a pre-tour of the Noah’s Ark Exhibit in Kentucky. In order to attend, you had to pre-register, which we had not. As we checked into the conference, we inquired about attending the tour. The person we spoke with said that the tour was full and there was a waiting list of 80 people. There was no way we were getting in. We walked away a little disappointed, but went about our day.
The next morning when I got up, I kept thinking about the exhibit. I really wanted to attend. The Ark Encounter is a life-size replica of the Ark that is mentioned in the Bible. There were also exhibits inside that held much Biblical history, and I really wanted to see it all. As I continued thinking about it, I decided not to give up. After all, I’m already there in the tri-state area and very close to Kentucky.
So I contacted someone involved in the tour. They told me the exact same thing that I was told before: “You had to pre-register and there is a waiting list of 80 people. You’re not going to get in. “Then, all of a sudden she said, “You could always show up, and if there are any spots open, then you would be able to go.” Then she looked at my shoes and said, “But you will need sneakers to go on the tour because of all of the construction.”
So I prayed about it and I heard the words, “desires of my heart.” So I called my husband and asked for his opinion. I didn’t want to buy shoes if I wasn’t going. Curtis said, “Remember that God gives you the desires of your heart. Do you really want to go?” I said, yes. He said, “Well, if you don’t show up, God can’t do anything for you.” So off we went to purchase my shoes for the trip.
Throughout the day, the discussion of the tour would come up. I continued hearing people say, “Well, if you didn’t pre-register, there’s no way you’re going. Plus, there’s 80 people on the waiting list.” I said, “I’ve got my shoes, we’re going.”
As we showed up that night, along with 300 other people, we continued to hear the same words: “Well, if you didn’t pre-register, there’s no way you’re going. Plus, there’s 80 people on the waiting list.” My response was the same, “I’ve got my shoes, we’re going.” As the pre-registered VIP’s began boarding the buses, in the natural, it began to look bleak. Something in me wouldn’t give up. I looked around at all of the people and continued to speak, “I’ve got my shoes, we’re going.” New people started showing up that hadn’t been there. While looking at the amount of people there, the thought came to just give up and walk away. I looked down at my new shoes and again repeated – for my benefit, I might add — “I’ve got my shoes, we’re going.” By the way, most of the people on the trip did not have sneakers. I believe God was giving me something tangible and visual to look at so that every time my thoughts began to tell me that I was not going, I could look down at my shoes and connect my words to that visual.
The VIP’s boarded and they began calling out names on the waiting list. After about 20 names had been called that did not show up, they let 21 of us board the bus. There was actually room for more people, but only 21 of us showed up. What I realized as they were calling out the names on the waiting list is this: 1. The people that didn’t show up never had a chance to go. 2. They gave up because they, too, heard throughout the last two days that they would not get to go. So they gave up!
How many times have we given up right before we are about to break through to the other side? What we have been praying about is so close that we can touch it; but because of the negativity around us, we become discouraged and give up.
I’m reminded of Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 13. They were the only two men that came back with a good report. The other 10 looked at the natural circumstances and they gave up. As a result of their report, Joshua and Caleb enjoyed the land that was – according to the Bible — “flowing with milk and honey.”
Since this tour was at dinner time, none of the 21 people had eaten dinner; however, we didn’t care about the food. We were just grateful to be there. After we got settled on the bus, one of the directors came and brought us dinner. They also prepared water and snacks for the trip. Wow! Not only did God answer our prayer, but He continued to bless us above and beyond what we had asked for.
We were able to see the Ark and the construction around, but we didn’t get to go inside. Our group was not discouraged; we were grateful that we made it that far. For me, I felt like God was building my faith and reminding me of the power of my words.
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
So if you feel discouraged today and are not seeing the fruit that you desire to see in your life, don’t give up! Stand your ground; watch the words that you speak. Show up so that God can show off! Who knows? Maybe today is the day that you get on the bus!