The day God used my "gift of the gab"


Hello Friends!   Revelation 12 reminds us that in this life of trial and challenge we are overcomers only by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

 I think “Testifying” is something we do far too seldom. We are good at quoting scripture, giving advice, and even pointing out the flaws (sins) of people around us, when in actuality, we should be bringing relevance to the word by sharing our story of how God met us in circumstances and proved Himself faithful.  So, as a word of testimony to encourage you to share the gospel (if you are a blood bought, spirit filled, born again believer) by sharing YOUR God Story, I’ll share one of my own. -  This word of testimony was God, revealed to many through a crisis which occurred in my life on June 6, 2013.  Here’s the story . . .

In my 20-plus years of ministry those closest to me have always joked about how much I talk! I don’t think I’ve even ever preached a typical 30 minute sermon in the space allotted on the church bulletin, EVER!!! Lol!  But on June 6, 2013, I think I talked more in three hours than I ever will again in my life.

I’ve spent over 20 years with kids, teenagers primarily, but on that Thursday I was leading a field trip of elementary aged children. I’ve traveled all over this country leading groups of hundreds of teenagers in my care. What challenge could a morning out with 50 or so children be in my world?  After all we were at a beautiful Mississippi Agri-Tourism site!  Only seconds after the children stepped off the bus, as I carefully directed them to our designated spot, a child ran up to me shouting, “Mr. Royce, _______ (she) fell in a hole. In an instant I thought, “Holy Cow, already a scraped knee!”  Instead, in an instant, not 30 feet from me, a 6 year old child had disappeared down an old abandoned well bore (14" in diameter) as the earth seemed to swallow her - 36 feet below the surface. It had obviously grown over, as I had walked that very ground the night before, and the overnight deluge of rain had apparently loosened the grown-over sod which had hidden this hole. For the next 3 1/2 hours I lay with my face at the edge of that well-bore, speaking life to a frightened child as every effort was made to rescue her. At every attempt to back a few feet away and let the professionals work, they insisted that I not get up - "She's responding to you", they kept saying. I knew how important it was to keep her calm, and have her follow instructions, so I continued to do what I do relationally, speak life.

Three rescue attempts failed, but 2 1/2 hours into the ordeal a special team out of Hattiesburg  had arrived and set up camp. Their equipment was finally in place and the last hope at a direct rescue back up the shaft of the hole was about to be attempted before they were to deploy backhoes to dig a counter hole and cut across to her.

As they set the equipment in place and began explaining the process I felt one of the most frightening feelings I've known in my life. The director of this rescue effort put the device in my hand and demonstrated what it needed to do, then he looked at me and said, "You've gotta do this - she's responding to you!" - with lights down the hole and this "handcuff device" being lowered from a specialized rescue tripod by experts, I thought, "Dear God, help me help this child!"

As God had allowed me for several hours, once again, I talked six-year-old-hysteria into calm, and coached this precious little girl through putting on this harness, as if she were putting on bracelets to play dress-up.

About ten minutes passed as I coached her every move to get her in just the right position to be in the center of the hole, with the device on, and in seconds she was out! I lay down before God and every man there and just wept, praising God! Miraculously she had been rescued, but greater still, after a 36-foot fall, she had not even a broken bone. She was discharged from the E R about five hours later and is doing well today!  I don't know if I'll ever get those images out of my mind! I was thankful that the professional rescuers seemed so appreciative of my gift with words, but what they didn’t realize is that while I was talking with my mouth, I was praying in my heart.

You see my friends, while all the people on the surface heard my voice, I KNEW The Voice of Peace was what this little girl was hearing thirty-six feet below at the bottom of a well, and He breathed life, so that this little child would hear and respond to His peace . . . all the while the folks next to me thought it was me she was hearing!!! HA!!!

The same Firewalker who rescued three young boys from a King’s fiery furnace showed up on that Thursday and walked that little girl back up to the earth’s surface. I was honored to be a part with a team of professionals, from law enforcement to rescue, firefighters, and EMTs who were privileged to be the visible hands of an invisible God, who safely delivered this sweet child from a frightening ordeal, and joy unspeakable rose literally rose from thirty-six feet away! ALL OF THEM, too many to name, are to be commended for their unwavering and professional service!

So overwhelmed with joy, yet exhausted from the trauma, I couldn’t stand; a friend held me up and walked me over to the gurney where she was being settled in and I kissed that precious face, thanking God all the while!  What a mighty God we serve!! It was a day I never want to repeat, but a day which has caused my voice to become just a little bit louder, and prouder about “the gift of gab”!!   I AM OVERWHELMED TO KNOW THAT I AM A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING!!!