While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4
On March 17th I was in Phoenix, Arizona, for a Lutheran Hour Celebration Rally being put on by the Lutheran Laymen's League Grand Canyon District.
Having just finished a preparatory luncheon with 20 good friends, I felt peaceful and secure. Hundreds of people had signed up for the following day's event, and I was ready for them. The script which allowed me to take The Baloney Shop on the Road had just been completed.
And then ... April Fool.
Sudden destruction came as my hotel room started spinning, and the only way I could maneuver was on my hands and knees. Heart attack? Stroke? Peace and security were out the window as, for the first time in my life, I ended up in a hospital emergency room. Tests, scans, blood work. The results were conclusive. I had a viral inner-ear infection.
Two-hundred-and-fifty billion of those little virus beasties can fit on the head of an average-sized pin, but some of them had managed to get organized, and they dropped me like I had been poleaxed. Hearing my diagnosis, I thought isn't that like the devil? He'll use whatever tool he's got, he'll do whatever is necessary to stop the Gospel from being proclaimed.
Well, April Fool to you, Mr. Devil.
Even though I was out of commission, the Holy Spirit wasn't. Dr Larry Stoterau, president of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod Pacific Southwest District, made a tremendous presentation to the gathered supporters of the Savior ... and then ...
Bob Becker, our LLL District president introduced a new Baloney Shop employee: Mr. John Hawkins. Let me tell you about John. John is a new member of the Lutheran Hour Ministries development staff; he's also the fellow who had called my ambulance and had stayed with me all night in the hospital. After all that, John got up and, Baloney Shop uniform and all, told those folks about the baloney the world is dishing up against the Savior and His story of salvation.
John talked about the light of the Savior that has come to this dark world of sin, and he spoke of how Lutheran Hour Ministries is committed to making sure as many souls as possible are brought into that saving light of grace.
This all goes to prove something -- something St. Paul had written about centuries ago: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
My April Fools' Day came on March 17th, but the real fool that day was Satan. Somehow he forgot it is "God who gives the growth."
And that, Daily Devotion readers, is true everywhere and for all time.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for those who, when called by You, rise up and make proclamation of their faith. We ask in a world filled with sin that the Savior's truth they share may bring forth a light that touches lost souls everywhere. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries