Just arrived in San Francisco. I'll continue to blog my Hearing God commentary tomorrow morning...
In the meantime, I heard from God today. I can't tell you how many times I have sat next to a stranger on an airplane and have felt the tug from God to witness to them. Well, today my family and I boarded a plane with widely separated seats. I figured that I would just do some reading and napping on the three hour flight to Phoenix.
Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
All right, my plans were not to be, God had directed my steps next to an hispanic lady. I speak to her and realize that she does not speak much english and I do not speak much spanish. Enough for smalltalk, her name is Graciella, but I am satisfied that this was not the right situation for me to share my faith because of the language barrier. But God would not leave me alone. I could sense a clear direction from him that I should begin a spiritual conversation with Graciella. So I asked her if she knew that she would go to heaven when she died. She said that she did not know. Those of you who have been trained to share your faith know that this is the first diagnostic question leading to a gospel presentation. When I told her that the Bible says that it is written so that we may know with certainty that we have eternal life she expressed much interest. It took a while to get to this point because of our language barrier. But when she produced her own spanish version of the Bible, I realized that God had provided everything I needed to proceed. I drew pictures, and took her to about twenty verses in her own Bible which was also a catholic version compete with the apocrapha.
While I was working with her through the logical steps using scripture to understand how she might know that she has eternal life through trusting Christ alone, the lady across the aisle from me whose name is Nancy, asked me if I was a missionary. I told her that yes I was but not by vocation. She immediately understood what I meant and it turns out that she is a member of my church and speaks fluent spanish. At this point I am overwhelmed with God's provision for this “divine encounter.” Nancy was a big help when I needed to find the words fill in the transition from one verse to the next. So after about 90 minutes, Graciella is trusing Jesus Christ and him alone for her salvation and she knows that when she dies that she will spend eternity with Him. Furthermore I showed her how Jesus is not only Savior but he is also the Lord of her life. Nancy and Graciella and I have become friends with a common bond of love in our fatih in Jesus Chrsit.
Thank your Father for speaking to me today but also for providing everything that I needed for such a divine encounter. I will continue to pray for Graciella and her children as often as you bring them to my remembrence.