So the title of this post, if you haven’t already guessed, is a little tongue-in-cheek! A while a go John and I became the proud owners of what we now lovingly refer to as our ‘Spoon of Destiny’. The spoon isn’t special in itself, it’s just a whittled wooden spoon. We don’t believe it has any mystical powers or anything daft like that! Yet, the story of how we came to have it and what it represents is rather special. I have come to write down the story of how we came to have the spoon so that I can keep a record of a yet another occasion where our loving Father God spoke to us very clearly. I hope this story encourages all who read it that God is alive and active – He wants to be known and loves to speak to reveal Himself and His will for our lives.
Just before God began to speak to John and I about starting a new church, we had Angela Kemm visit Jubilee, our church at the time. Angela spent the Saturday with us teaching our team about God’s Kingdom, how God speaks to us and wants to use us to show those that don’t know him what he is like.
During our Sunday morning service at Jubilee Angela spoke about our position as God’s children. She encouraged us how powerful that made us, not because we had anything special about us but because of God’s great love for us He wants to partner with us. With God as our Father we now inherit the vast riches of God’s Kingdom. Not wealth or riches but security, love and status as his privileged sons and daughters. Part of being his children means everything that Jesus got from Father God on the Earth we can also have and that includes the amazing power to be able to pray for people and see them healed or for miraculous things to happen.
Angela taught about a man in the bible called Paul who believed this. He knew he had been adopted into God’s family because of Jesus’ dying in his place on the cross. He spent his life taking risks to show people who Jesus was and how Jesus wanted to make a way for everyone to have a living relationship with God. One of the ways Paul demonstrated that he spoke on behalf of God was that many amazing miracles happened around him and through him. He miraculously survived many attempts on his life, when he prayed for sick people they got better and he even raised a dead man back to life! The dead man had fallen out of a window whilst listening to Paul teach long into the night and he had fallen asleep. Paul rushed into the streets and threw himself on the mans body; prayed and life is reported to have entered his body, in front of many witnesses (you can read this story in Acts 20:7-12).
As Angela was telling this story she was holding a whittled wooden spoon. After finishing her talk she still hadn’t explained why she had hold of the spoon. At the end of the morning service Angela prayed for John and said “God nudged me to bring this spoon with me today but I didn’t know why or who it was for. But now I am praying with you John, I know it is for you.”
She began to go on to explain that through the spoon God was showing her something about John that he needed to know to be encouraged. This is called prophecy or a ‘word of knowledge’. God can often speak to people using physical objects that demonstrate something about what He wants to say. Angela explained that she had watched this spoon being whittled. She watched as its maker dug deeply into the bit of wood with a sharp knife. She recalled bits of wood were flying off everywhere as he chipped away at it. Angela remarked to young man making it “You’re making a mess” but the young man replied, “No I’m not. I’m creating something.”
“God’s anointing is now on you for this next season. You will see miracles just like Paul raised people from the dead. People will begin to say oh that’s normal for John.”
Angela said to John “God is saying you are like the bit of wood used to make the spoon. He has been chipping away parts of your character and molding and shaping you into the man He has purposed for you to be. At times this has felt painful as God has been stripping away things that need to be removed. At times it has felt like He has been simply making a mess, but He has been creating something. You need to know John, that the time of chipping away has now come to an end. You are now the man God wants you to be. That time of shaping is over. Just as this spoon has now emerged from the wood; it is now a finished spoon. The next stage for the spoon is that it needs to be immersed in oil to be sealed. I want you take this spoon home write the date on the spoon and then lay it in oil. The oil represents God’s anointing. When you feel ready put the spoon in the oil as a sign that God’s anointing is now on you for this next season. You will see miracles just like Paul raised people from the dead. People will begin to say oh that’s normal for John.”
At this point of course John and I are both a snotty, teary mess as we listen to what God is saying through Angela! It meant a great deal to John in particular. He had been feeling as though God were stretching Him almost beyond what he could bare in that season of life and church leadership he had just walked through.
We took the spoon home and put it on a shelf. I encouraged John to put it in oil straight away but he felt this was too big a thing for him. John is a lovely humble man and the thought of anointing himself with God’s oil seemed like an arrogant act to him. As his wife this was hard to accept – I love John very much and have always believed in him. I wanted to plunge that spoon in oil right there and then! But I decided to leave it to God to speak to John about it. Over time we both forgot about the spoon.
Fast forward several months.
God had spoken clearly to John and I about moving to East Hull to start another church. We had sold our house and found another one. Jubilee church had generously paid for people to come in and pack up our house and move us to our new location. As I am unpacking I come across the spoon again!
Remarkably the moving company who had packed up our house had popped into an old olive oil tin I had been using as a vase. They had then wrapped up the tin and the spoon together and packed it in a box. As I unwrapped the packing paper I realise the tin must have had some oil left in it (I swear it was empty!), and oil had gone all over the spoon, soaking it completely!
I ran to find John shouting “God is speaking, God is speaking!” I couldn’t quite believe He had so clearly and definitely spoken to us by anointing the spoon without our help. He really wanted John to know; “You are who I have made you to be. I am with you. I love you.”
This continues to be one of my favourite stories of God speaking to us as we moved to start River City Church.