All of a sudden, August 2017 seems like a daunting number. As we work toward having our own building, the reality of the scope of work seems overwhelming. On weaker days, the enormity of the financial need makes me weak in the knees.
But then I find strength in His word. One particular verse often comes to mind, and it is often tied to a story I once heard.
For years, Dallas Theological Seminary has been a stalwart institution in evangelicalism. Notable preachers such as Charles Swindoll, Tony Evans, and Chip Ingram are all DTS graduates. Yet, few people know how close the school came to closing.
DTS was founded in 1924. Shortly after opening, it almost closed due to financial need. As a matter of fact, it almost went bankrupt.
On one particular day, the creditors were ready to foreclose. Thus on that same morning, the founders of the school gathered in the President’s office to pray for God’s provision. During that prayer meeting, one member of the group desperately prayed, “Lord, we know that all the cattle on a thousand hills are thine,” which is a quotation from Psalm 50:10. He then continued, “Please sell some of them and send us the money.”
About that same time, a Texan, clad with boots and a cowboy hat, strolled into the business office. With his Texas drawl he greeted the secretary, “Howdy!” What he said next would send her to interrupt the prayer meeting. “I just sold two carloads of cattle over in Fort Worth. I’ve been trying to make a business deal go through, but it just won’t work. I feel God wants me to give this money to the seminary. I don’t know if your need it or not, but here’s the check.” With that he handed it to her and walked out.
Knowing the critical need of the hour, the secretary took the check and went to the door of the prayer meeting. After a soft tap on the door, Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder and president of the school, answered the door and took the check. Instantly he recognized the name on the check. Knowing he was a rancher, Dr. Chafer turned and stunned the group with these simple words, “God sold the cattle.”
We serve a God who still does things like that. The apostle Paul says it like this, “And my God will supply every need of yours, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).” Beloved, this is our hope. CLA is God’s school. We will do our part. We will work hard. Yet, at the same time we will pray with all our might. And we just might pray, “Lord, all the cattle on a thousand hills are thine. Please sell some of them and send us the check.”
Thank you for joining us on this journey.