Fifty years ago, this month I began a six-year tenure serving as the Baptist Student Minister and Bible Instructor at Pan American University. This week I am speaking five times in three days to students at the same University (now called The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley). In preparation for these presentations, I journeyed back in time. One clear memory was the day I ran out of Seminary momentum. This was my first ministry assignment following Seminary graduation, and I had been using everything I remembered from my classes, but nothing seemed to be working. At a place named Oasis Baptist Camp, sitting among the palm trees on a warm fall day, I had a long talk with God, then I gave up. I told God, “You got me into this, now get me through it. If anything of significance is going to happen here, it’s got to be You, not me.” Space does not permit my telling of all the significant things that happened on that campus in the next six years, but it all began in a private prayer meeting, when I surrendered. The passage that became real to me over the next weeks was John 12:24, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” I look back on that day as the day I died, at least died to self, and the day God began to use me to produce according to His will.
Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.