Some years later, newly engaged to be married, a thought came to me that God might have something better for me. Interested, I wondered what it was. Then another thought came, suggesting that God wouldn't have anything better for me--I was not important enough to Him. I did not stop to consider the source of these thoughts and believed them both to be my own. So I turned down His offer of something better.
I married and had three children. A few years later, I asked the Lord what I could do for Him and He told me to teach Sunday school. I did so for three years and then baby number four arrived and I had to stop.
I had regularly attended Missionary meetings and was the official missionary letter-writer. This continued until after my husband's death. Then God told me plainly to join the Salvation Army and arranged things so that I did not have to change my beliefs in order to do so. He sent me into the hotels to meet women there--and I had found my mission field at last!
Some women came to Him and accepted Him as Saviour. I had other work in the Salvation Army and served the Lord there for 24 years. By that time, I was living in an Adventist Retirement Village. I had been asked to play the piano for Friday and Saturday worship programs and to speak on Fridays sometimes. I attended Adventist Sabbath-morning meetings in order to be present for Communion.
Then I got bronchitis and it was a bad attack. It took much of my energy and I had to give up everything I was doing, in both churches. I was too tired to attend evening meetings in the Village chapel and could no longer even attend the Salvation Army. I could not walk there and if I'd gone in their bus, I'd have had to sit for two hours, which was too tiring.
But I continued to attend some Adventist meetings in the Village chapel. A few days after giving up my Friday and Saturday "jobs," I was asked to lead the Sabbath-morning meetings on occasion. I was excited that I was still able to serve the Lord!
To my amazement, some few years later, I was asked to become a deaconess and no-one raised any objections, though I was not an Adventist church member.
I now had a problem. My name was on the roll of a church I never attended, and I worked with and attended a church that did not have my name on its roll. My name was on the roll of a church with whose beliefs I did not believe, yet I worshipped and served the Lord in a church with whose beliefs I did agree--but did not have my name on its roll. And I loved both churches.
I decided to ask for membership in the Adventist church. This was granted and I am very happy here. Now in my late 80s, I am head deaconess and still leading the meetings on Sabbath mornings once a fortnight. In spite of the fact that I turned down the Lord's offer of "something better," He has not held it against me and has been so gracious to me!
It is now 30 years since He gave me my first job in the Salvation Army and I have never been a full week without a job for Him. Praise the Lord!
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name. Psalm 23:1-3.
Mabel Rosser lives in the Bethesda Adventist Retirement Village in Manakau City, New Zealand.
This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God