Going back to the Past – 12th Part
In New York we had many battles and struggles concerning the Work of God. It is not easy to do the Work of God in another country that has a different culture than your native country.
There exists many battles that a man and woman of God face inside the Work of God.
First, being a man of God and to overcome their internal struggles and difficulties, without being affected and not be distracted with their own necessities. In addition to their “self”, they should always maintain their spiritual life to maintain the people spiritually, responding to their questions, blessing and removing the evil.
With the responsibility that is put in the hands of a pastor and wife, there must be nothing missing. This means that they are in an intense communion with God to do what needs to be done. He needs to have his ears attentive to God’s Voice.
And when the pastor is young and his wife as well, there needs to be a growing maturity within these great responsibilities.
Júlio and I were still so young. I had little time in the Work of God, but Júlio had more time than I did. But even so, we had to learn how to reconcile things.
I was recently married, with just 3 years of marriage, when I went to New York. And I was always very preoccupied with Júlio eating well because he, as well as the other pastors, worked incessantly; he would wake up at 6 am to leave at 7am form home to be there at 8 or 9 am and he would stay in church till 10 or 11pm.
My mom was my reference of how we had to take care of those in our responsibility. In this case, all I had was Júlio.
So I would always warm up the homemade food that I made when I was in church with Júlio, in this case, lunch, and many times Júlio would complain of the food that I would bring from home. And on a specific day, he complained about the meat: that it was hard, etc. …
And I would insist that he eat anyway, because in the Work of God, there was no time for “fresh, on the hour” food and many times the conditions only allowed them to take lunch from home.
You ladies know that, every married man wants food that is perfect and tasty because since he has a wife, he has the right to ask. During that time, I did not understand, I thought Júlio was being picky with the food and sometimes I would even cry for him to eat.
It looked like a film!
The same thing that my mom would with Cris and I! Cris and I, we were horrible when it came to eating. Everything was a motive for us not to eat.
And one day, Bishop Renato, saw me insist with Júlio, and Júlio, who was very upset, gave up on eating and left everything on the plate.
Bishop Renato Maduro went on a trip and he told my father how Júlio was treating me. In Bishop Renato’s eyes, Júlio was mistreating me. But this was not the case, I was the one who was too insistent on him to accept and eat what we had at the moment.
In the end, I received a phone call from my father, during the missionary trip he was having and he scolded me: “Viviane, pay very close attention! No man likes it when a woman badgers him. Stop being foolish! Stop being on his toes to eat! Let him fend for himself! And one more thing, Bishop Renato is going to arrive and he is going to make mincemeat out of Júlio!”
Not once did my father call me to tell me what was going to happen. In this case, he did.
And I, knowing of the “earthquake” that was heading our way, I began to make a compromise with God.
I spoke to God in more or less these words: “God, I cannot stand anymore being reprimanded, there is always something wrong! Is this really possible!? Now, the Lord has to listen. You are going to listen to what I have to say to you, Lord. Look here now, I am going to read out so that the Lord remembers Your Words. I am going to read everyday, ‘Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him’ (Psalms 19:14). Now it’s the Lord’s problem! I don’t care how, what has to happen, now it’s your problem Lord!”
I spoke with conviction. I knew that I was trying the live a holy life for God, serving in the best way that I saw how. Always guarding my heart, my eyes… How was I going to live a life where Júlio was always being reprimanded. The Lord has to deliver me form this situation-
So, I made this prayer everyday, reading the Bible, so that he could hear my demands.
Bishop Renato came back from the trip, and he was very upset with Júlio. Super ready to reprimand him. And in the first meeting of the pastors according to when he came back, he says fuming:
“Júlio, I came here, ready to finish you off! But I can’t! The only thing that comes to mind is what Viviane says in respect to you!”
He (Bishop Renato) asked me something before he left for the trip and before he made the phone call to my father. I don’t even remember what it was. I had no inclinations as to what was on his mind.
Never, in the history of the Universal Church did I see a bishop who was determined to do something, and then say that he can’t do it.
When I heard the Bishop say those words, I raised my hand to see if I had space to speak, and he asked, “What, Viviane?”
I said: “I know why, sir, you cannot finish Júlio off! I asked God for Him to deliver me. And that is exactly what He is doing!”
I think the bishop didn’t understand and he continued the pastor’s meeting.
That was an experience of faith.
When you believe, fulfill, obey.
And if you obey, you have the right to demand the fulfillment of the Promises.
And God loves that type of sincerity, because He sees in us belief!