Over the course of the last two years I have experienced many moments that I can describe as “a God Thing”. Moments where I thought one thing was going to happen and God stepped in and did something else. One of those moments came very quickly. I was standing at the front door of the church (greeting people) when my cell phone rang. I moved away from the door to take the call and it was the minister at another church calling to invite me to meet with the elders about our mission. He gave me the date of the meeting and I told him my wife and I would be
there. As soon as I hung up the phone I realized that I had already booked an airfare that would conflict with the time I had just committed. I said to myself; “Oh great, this is going to cost me $100.00 to change the fare.” Then I thought; “Oh well, God will supply”. So I walked back to the door to continue greeting people and the first person to walk up to me said; “God put it on my heart that you needed this, so use it for whatever you need.” In my hand was a one hundred dollar bill. The lady engaged with other people before I could even thank her. (I later shared the events with her). Shocked I looked up and said to God; “Wow, that was quick. You didn’t even give me time to ask.”
That was “A God Thing”!
As I was thinking about that moment I remembered a story that a man at the Tulsa workshop had told me a few years ago. I was sitting with him and had commented on the amazing job he had done in planting two churches. He then said; “It’s a God Thing”. He said he had a story that inspired him to do church planting. Here is the story he shared with me:
A number of years ago, I met a man who was running a homeless shelter. This shelter was first class, feeding over a hundred each day.
I told him how impressed I was with this shelter and he said; “Well thank you, but we now have over twenty of these shelters in cities all across the mid-west and we’re working on more.” He said; “It’s a God Thing”.
He asked him to explain. The man said; “I didn’t start out to build homeless shelters.” Here’s my story; I was in my 40’s and had done quite well. I had a good education and had worked my way up in business. I had a $500,000.00 home, a wife and two children. We drove Mercedes
and went to church regularly and were involved in our youth group. But, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t fulfilled. I was just… going through the motions.
One day I was driving downtown, on my way to a Bible study,and got stopped at a railroad crossing. I started looking around and saw this woman sitting near the tracks with her head in her hands…crying. For some reason I felt compassion towards her, which was unlike me. Something inside me said; “Go help her”. So I pulled my car over to the curb and got out (very unlike me) and went over to her and said; “Are
you ok?” She looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said; “No! I haven’t eaten in three days and I have no money”. So I begrudgingly reached into my pocket and pulled out my wallet to give her some money and all I had was two twenty’s and I thought; Great! Now it’s going to cost me twenty bucks and she’ll just blow it on booze…thanks a lot. Then she said something that
surprised me; “Oh please don’t give me and money” I said, What? She said; “These bums around here will just beat me up and take the money” (and she looked like she had been beaten up a few times already). Then she pointed at McDonalds and said; “Would you buy me some food?”
So we went into McDonalds and I bought her some food. When she finished she asked me if I would buy her another order. I just figured she
wanted some for later. So I said; Sure. Get what you want. Then she said something that really surprised me; “Thanks, I have a friend who hasn’t eaten either. I’m gonna take her this food.” (Here was one beggar taking another beggar food.) Tears came to my eyes, but she wasn’t through with my heart yet. She looked straight at me and said; “You know, This was a God thing! I had my hands over my face praying and cry out to God; Please send me some food, and you came up. Thank you!” I was barely able to squeak out; No – thank you!
She left in a hurry down an ally and I never saw her again. After I composed myself, I got back into my car and drove to the Bible Study.
But God wasn’t done with my heart yet! I get to the Bible study late and the first thing the teacher does is asked me to read a scripture; Luke
10:25-37 (the parable of the good Samaritan). After that study I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life and I haven’t looked back since. And, by the way, I’m now happy. I’m fulfilled. My life has meaning! It’s a God thing!
God will do mighty things in our lives when we get out of the way.