I had a cool God experience this week.
On Tuesday night, Rob and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican food restaurants. As the waiter seated us, my eyes fell upon a man and woman sitting in a booth across the room.
I need to tell that man that Jesus loves him, I thought to myself. I dismissed the thought as quickly as it came, assuming it was just my own stream of consciousness. I looked at my menu, munched on chips, and chatted with Rob. But then, there it was again…
Tell that man that Jesus loves him.
Throughout the meal, the thought kept returning to me stronger and stronger until, finally, it dawned on me what was happening: the “thought” was actually the leading of the Holy Spirit. And He was asking me to speak to this man!
So now, I had to decide whether or not I was going to act on what I was hearing. My heart started racing. I got butterflies in my stomach. And for a few minutes, my rational mind took over. I thought of all the reasons why I shouldn’t act on what I was hearing, such as:
1. Maybe I was making this up and God wasn't speaking at all
2. The man will think I’m crazy
3. “Jesus loves you” is such a simple, obvious statement that there’s no way it could be helpful…and the man will think I'm crazy
4. It will inconvenience me…and the man will think I’m crazy
But as I sat there eating my nachos and mulling it over I came to one, overarching conclusion: God was asking me to take a step of faith and I needed to be obedient. After all, “faith” means you don’t know what the outcome will be. “Faith” means that you do it even though you’re scared.
So, I shared all of this with Rob, and together we came up with a plan. We decided to break the ice by paying for their meal. So, Rob instructed the waiter to bring him the couple’s bill. After a few minutes the couple finished eating, got up from their table, and walked past us toward the exit.
“Excuse me,” I said. They paused and looked at me. “I wanted to let you know that we were the ones that paid for your meal. And I want to tell you why we did…”
“Oh, thank you!” they both exclaimed at the same time.
I turned my attention to the man and said, “Sir, this has never happened to me before, but I really felt strongly that I should tell you that Jesus loves you.” I went on to explain a little more about the love of Jesus, and that we had bought his meal as a demonstration of that love.
The man listened intently, and then with a big smile and eyes glistening he shook our hands and thanked us. The woman gave me a huge hug and said, “This means so much. You have no idea what you’ve done. He really needed to hear that.”
I will never know what impact those words had on this man. Maybe he just got a terrible diagnosis, or lost his job, or was depressed. Or maybe he was just wondering if Jesus was real. All I know is that it was absolutely thrilling to step out in faith in order to be used by God in another’s life. I can’t wait to do it again.