God Turned the Water into...Warm?

This is the true story of an incredible miracle that was shared with me by a pastor while I was ministering in the Ukraine. Sometimes I need a story like this to remind me how far my faith has to grow.

This pastor shared with me that during the days while they were still under communism, it was strictly illegal to perform any kind of baptism. Their underground church had numerous new believers who were wanting to be baptized, but it was too dangerous to risk doing it anywhere near where they lived.

It was November, and they loaded eleven of the new believers into a van and headed far up into the Carpathian Mountains to a very secluded mountain lake that they had used before. I have been to their baptism services, and they are quite a bit different than ours here in the United States. The pastor and every elder present each gave a sermon, and then they took time and prayed in the water over every believer they baptized. The entire service took about four hours.

When they arrived at the lake, it was snowing hard and the wind was blowing. The lake had not frozen over, but it was very cold!

If this had been me, I would have told everyone that we were going to make this very quick, and then get back into the van, and pray that no one caught their death of cold. I grew up in Alaska, and I have been in some very cold water, but it is not usually a place where you want to stay for very long!

However, this group of believers took a very different approach. They all got out of the van and huddled together on the beach and began to pray.

After a few minutes, the pastor went and felt the temperature of the water, but it was still very cold. He returned to the little group on the beach and they prayed for a little while longer.

Again, he went and tested the water, but it was still ice cold. Once again he returned to the group and they continued praying.

Upon testing the water for the third time, he found that it felt quite warm. They all went into the water and held their normal style of baptism service, and baptized all eleven believers. Although it was still snowing, no one got cold, and they had a very comfortable service!

Once they were all finished, they returned to the van and had an uneventful trip back home, except for their praise and thanksgiving for what God in His faithfulness had done for them!

When this Ukrainian pastor shared this story with me, he talked like this was just another run of the mill normal activity in their lives; very typical of the kind of things that God was doing for them on a regular basis.

That's when I realized how much more my own faith needed to grow, and how much I needed to ask God to expand my own understanding of the kinds of things that God is willing to do to glorify Himself and provide for us as His children, if we will only learn to believe and trust Him!

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