There are times when your life is deeply touched by a special visit from God. Even though you don't realize the importance or lasting effect it will have on your life. Those words "I'll give you children" changed my history forever.
During my daughter's high school days, times between my daughter and I had been trying. She felt a need to spread her wings and try a different direction. I didn't think it would work and I tried to reason with her. She would cry and I would cry about her decision. To no avail, my wife and I helped her move away from home. During this time, I was reminded of the story of Abraham, and how Abraham had obeyed God concerning Hagar. Abraham had to send Hagar and Ishmael out of the camp. Genesis 21:11 says, "And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son." I knew the feeling. God had let me feel how the righteous feel when faced with heart decisions. Abraham didn't jump up and down with joy while obeying God, at that moment, but Abraham did obey God.
Several years went by, and my daughter didn't come back home. I would find myself crying without control. I would be thinking about my only daughter, I say only daughter cause my wife and I couldn't have any more children. The tears would come gushing out. I would be asking God, " why did I feel this way? ", then I would feel better. This kept up over the years and I tried to block the memory out.
Often I would find myself condemned, thinking, if I had lived a better life maybe my daughter would be home. Thank God! Jesus didn't leave me alone or I couldn't have stood the grief. I remember the Lord asking me a question, "If she was living the life style you are living, where would she be?" I responded, " We wouldn't be having this conversation, she would be happy and she would be in the worship services." That was the point! The condemnation wasn't mine. I was taking too much on me. The worrying should have been on the responsible party, the one who needed to be praying and crying out to God. Until we realize what the situation is, we don't know what we are feeling. Jesus has to show us. This lesson would be learned by me over and over again.
Sometimes I would think I was over the pain, trying to forget news about my daughter. Then the pain would come again. Crying out loud, praying from the heart. Only God would give the relief. These were special moments, when you would hear that still small voice. Jesus would respond to the hurting, by saying, "I have disobedient children too." Then, I would know how he felt about his children, he loved them, yet didn't love the sin they were following. Jesus doesn't want his children mistreated even when they are wrong. He'll do the correction.
Little did I know that God was teaching me a lesson that is worth more than gold. Money cannot buy this wisdom from God.
Once the grief became overbearing, I began talking to the Lord, Lord I can't stand this, Betty and I cannot have any children, I have only one child, The pain was deep. Then I heard that still small voice again, reply, "I'll give you children." I didn't understand it but it felt good. Jesus had done it again. Yet, how was Jesus going to do that?
Possibly two years went by, when God began a work only He can do. You don't have to be a wicked person for God to prune you. On the contrary, God prunes the righteous so they will be fruitful. At this time in my life, all was well. I felt clean in my soul. That's when it happened, a heart attack, right in our worship services. Some ask me why the heart attack happened in a worship service. I'm not completely sure, but there are some good reasons. One, I was among the saints, praying saints. Two, several medical people attended the service. So if God chose that place, what a wonderful place to leave this world! During my stay in the hospital there were many tests. I think seven days passed. And then, I was sent home. I knew my body was very weak so I depended more on the power of God for strength. I thought this to be wonderful. I prayed with more earnestness. Little did I know a big present was going to be given in our home. The saints began to visit our home and I loved it. One night, God arranged a special gathering there. Some of our young people wanted the holy Ghost, so we started praying. The number that was there, at first, was small, then the people began to gather as the young ladies were blessed of God. I remember one prayer that touched God's heart, a young lady with tears rolling down her cheeks, crying, "Lord, will you help me?" I told her, "God loves you " and the power from heaven fell. She began to speak in tongues and joy from heaven began to fill the room. You have heard of the holy Ghost and fire, well the spirit moved from one hungry heart to another. The telephone line was busy spreading the good news. Joy bells were ringing. God was answering prayers. Soon we realized more births were to come so we stayed busy with the deliveries. Each birth was beautiful, God planned it that way so we could enjoy each new life. You could picture the tears of relief on the faces of those mothers and the saints knowing God had added to the body of Christ, the labor pains are over, thanksgiving was in the air.
This event was so full of love! I didn't get it, the message, "I'll give you children." It took me a year to grasp the meaning and the timing. A year later, the young ladies began to testify what God had done for them a year ago, February 9. I was listening and a 'light bulb went off', that is what God meant, "I'll give you children". The girls received the holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in other tongues on February 9, the same day I received the holy Ghost, February 9, 1964. God had given me children in our home. The promise had come true.
Now, that was important, how could God match such events? Well, I had been praying, "What was going to happen to my daughter?" Yet, no clear answer. One evening the spirit of prayer was leading me to seek God. I felt a need to know my daughter's situation when I started to ask the LORD, I heard a still small voice, whisper, "She is coming back". There was an assurance in those words that you have to experience to know the feeling. I walked back into our home; my wife and a friend were there. I told them what the LORD said. God wanted witnesses to hear me say, "she is coming back".
Early one morning the phone rang, about 4:30 a.m., my daughter crying woke us. She had a dream about the coming of the Lord and she wasn't prepared. This dream started the healing process. I thought it would be a quick recovery. It was and wasn't. For God had begun the trip home and it would be a journey, but worth the waiting.
Soon, Amy, my daughter, was attending worship services and Bible study classes. Her hunger for God grew with each gathering of the saints. God fulfilled her desire and our prayers by filling her with the blessed holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. She is a happy young lady and growing in the kingdom of God. "I will give you children" are words with much fruit.
If you are interested in reading more information about Amy's testimony, it is presented here: Amy Pittman's Testimony.
Our God is wonderful to be praised!
Bro. Earl Pittman