Better Giving Than Recieving
Posted by Joel Osteen on 5/9/2014
A while back, I heard a story about a young mother in the 1960’s. She and her family moved to New York City from Puerto Rico. They were very poor. They lived in a rough neighborhood in government housing with drugs, gangs and violence all around. At the age of nine, her young son, Victor, was recruited by a gang. By the time he was twelve, he was hooked on heroine. He had already been arrested, involved in robbing, stealing, killing and all kinds of illegal activity.
His mother was so heartbroken. She couldn’t control her son. She was a very small woman. She only spoke Spanish, but she was very feisty. One thing this mother knew how to do was pray. Every day, seven days a week and twice on Sundays, she would go up to the little storefront church in the projects with her sister and they would pray for her son, Victor. She didn’t just pray for God to keep him out of trouble. This mother knew how to pray God-sized prayers. She said, “God, I’m asking You to make my son a minister. Use him to touch people all over the world.”
Twelve years old, Victor would come home at 3 o’clock in the morning totally stoned. This mother would be in the kitchen waiting for him with her arms held open. She would give him a hug and say, “Victor, God’s hand is on your life. You have a destiny to fulfill. God is not only going to save you, He is going to make you a minister.” She spoke words of faith over him. The more she prayed it seemed like the worse he got. His teacher at school told the mother, “Your son is going to end up in the electric chair.”
She let those words go in one ear and out the other. She kept praying month after month. It didn’t look like anything was happening, but what she couldn’t see is that while she was praying, God was moving on a young man in another state by the name of David Wilkerson, calling him to come to the roughest streets in New York City and share the Good News. One day, Victor ran into this new, young, street preacher. Right there on the corner, God touched Victor’s heart. He knelt down and gave his life to Christ. God set him free from the drugs, from the gangs, from the violence.
Today, Victor Torres is not only clean and sober, but he is the pastor of a great church in Virginia. They have amazing outreaches to drug addicts and gang members. He goes all over the world telling what God has done for him.
I can’t help but wonder, “Where would Victor be if his mother had not dared to pray these God-sized prayers?” Maybe David Wilkerson would not have ever shown up. Maybe he’d be in the penitentiary or even dead. It looked impossible, the odds were against her, and every voice told her, “You are wasting your time. Your son is too far gone. He’s never going to amount to anything.” But, she dug her heels in and said, “God, You said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. God, You promised it, and like David, I’m bold enough to ask You to bring it to pass.”