Very few fifteen year old girls would be so sold out to serving God that her plea in her journal would include the words, “Lord, please give me boldness! Help me to learn to pray out loud, like my brother Josh. Anything is possible with you, Jesus! I was born to stand out, or to stand alone! I’m Yours to do with what You will, but please, take this year and use it for Your glory!”
As Jennifer Barrick, the shy but popular teen at Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) penned those words, she had no idea she was about to have her prayer answered in a manner that would astound the nation–and the world–over the next ten years. She was given a commission from the Lord, which she is faithfully carrying out.
Watching the video above, you get a glimpse into the night a beautiful family became tragically shattered. Never, in the wildest imaginations of anyone, could friends have thought a marvelous ministry would be born that night. It turns the focus off the individual, and demonstrates the amazing love of Jesus for His world.
As I reflect on the life of Jen, I wonder, would I be willing to go through the ten years of trauma in order to reflect His glory? Would you? We get upset when prayers go unanswered, or when a fervent prayer is not answered the way we wish, but this child has thrown her whole heart and soul into serving our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Get your Bible, a notebook for thoughts that come to you, and a cup of something hot! Click on the link for the Sunday service at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA, for November 6, 2016, at http://www.trbc.org/service-archive, and join as we celebrated the ten year anniversary of the accident that should have taken the lives of the Barrick family. If you are listening by yourself, with your family or a group, study the questions below and decide if you want God to use you “just as you are.” You can do the study all in one sitting, or space the questions out through the week. He is seeking you, as Linda says, for a love relationship. Will you let Him find you? He will be the most faithful friend you could ever have.
The Barrick Family November 6, 2016 with Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Most of us would like to achieve a high goal of some type, or perhaps we have wished to do so at some point in our life, but feel it’s too late. Do you have an example you can share? If you are alone, write it down.
Today we are taking time to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of a family from the church who survived one of the worst car wrecks ever seen. Out of it, God has brought thousands of people to Himself!
Focal Passage: Isaiah 6:1-8
Think About or Discuss:
- Have you ever asked God to use you? If so, can you write down how you prayed in your notebook? If you’re with friends, discuss the things you think of.
- What do you remember that was in your mind at the time? Did you dream of an easy life, where you shared the gospel with willing people, and few problems?
- Can you think of any characters in the Old or New Testaments who suffered greatly, only to be used of God in a mighty way?
- What do you think the Barrick family would have said had you told them a horrific accident and a terrible brain injury would be needed to mold them into a family that God would use world-wide?
- Why is forgiveness so important?
- Is there anyone you need to forgive (answer in the silence of your heart)? Could they have hurt you more than the drunk driver injured the Barrick family?
- Would you forgive God for letting your or your family endure such terrible injury? Explain how you think you would feel.
- Can you honestly say that you would have written, as Jennifer did when she was fifteen years old, “God, do whatever You have to do to use me to further Your kingdom, and give me boldness?” Explain your answer.
- What is one statement made by any of the family in Sunday’s sermon time that you took away with you?
- Share whether you can state, “Yes, Lord, whatever You need to do for me to be a witness, I will accept Your plan?”
It is so easy to look at the sphere of influence, the huge crowds, and the immense number of people that are responding to the gospel given by the Barrick family as they witness of God’s grace, mercy, and miraculous healing, and not wish that were our own self. And yet in the “wish that were me leading so many people to the Lord” mentality, few of us would be willing to go through the years of trauma that they have endured because of one man’s choice to drink and drive. Yes, God could have stopped him. Yes, God could have done anything to keep this family safe. But God was looking at the big picture, the souls they would be leading into the kingdom, and the joy they are experiencing in knowing the suffering has been so worth it! And it is not over. As you listened to the testimony, you know Jen still suffers from short-term memory loss, and you can’t help but wonder what God has in store for her for the coming years. Will she be healed completely? Meanwhile, they still deal with the after-effects of the cancer Jen has experienced, and, although not mentioned, Andy himself has suffered cancer. God has a special love for this family. Pray for their safety, their protection, and their strength as they travel week after week, pouring out the message of hope and healing to a hurting world. And examine your own heart to see if you can honestly say, “Lord, not my will, but Thine be done!” And as Isaiah said in the passage above, “Here am I, Lord, send me!” Can you say that?
Memory Verse: Psalm 73:28: “But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works.”