He's An On Time God...But Are We? (Happy New Year!)
What's The Hold Up?
I arrived back to BWI Airport greeted by 18 degree weather on New Year's Eve night. It wasn't too much colder than Atlanta, but in these conditions, every degree helps. I walked out of the airport looking to catch the "A" shuttle bus to the parking lot to get my car, but I missed it and saw it go right pass me. No biggie... I figured I'd just be patient and wait for the next one. It can't take that long, right? As I'm waiting, I see several other shuttles arrive and depart, but still no A shuttle. No exaggeration - I saw at least five B shuttles and at least 3 express shuttles, but no A shuttle. People began to ask the workers the status of the shuttle. One guy even complained that he had been waiting for 45 minutes. (He was lying, but I guess He wanted to drive home his point). One of the workers had to get on his walkie talkie to figure out the status of the shuttle.
While all of this is going on, I noticed a young lady who's job was to answer questions for people waiting on the shuttles. I can't fully explain it, but I felt an unction to talk to her and perhaps witness to her. It wasn't a physical attraction or fleshly matter, but there was a nudge that drew my attention towards her. It was cold. I was bored. The back of her jacket literally said "Ask Me Questions", so I figured why not? However, even though I felt this nudge, I didn't move immediately.
The A shuttle still hadn't arrived, so I finally went over there and said hello. I asked her, "How's it going?" and we engaged in some small talk. Not long into our conversation, I asked her if she was ready for the New Year and if she had any resolutions. She responded, "Honestly, I'm just trying to get closer to God." I immediately knew that God was at work and it made sense as to why I kept feeling the urge to spark up a convo with her. I responded, "Well, that's about the best resolution you can have." She explained how 2017 was a rough year. I told her that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. She mentioned that she was looking forward to bringing in the New Year in church, but didn't know if she would get off in time to make it. I encouraged her that it's more about the personal relationship with Christ and not the church building and how simply reading the Bible, praying, and fasting would strengthen her walk with the Lord. She found it "funny" that I came over there and talked to her about God when that was her focus for the upcoming year.
The "A" shuttle finally arrived after we chatted briefly. I left the conversation really encouraged and excited about her future. God does a lot of great things, but when I witness to someone and see Him working in that person's life, it really does something to me. It lets me know that there's hope in that person's life and I know that He will finish that good work that He started. I understand why the Bible says that all the angels rejoice when just one sinner repents. Experiences like that really show God's love and the validity of the Bible which says if you draw near to Christ, He will draw near to you. It also shows God's sovereignty, in that, the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord and that God absolutely sets up divine appointments.
As I drove home and continued to meditate on our conversation, it hit me that God's sovereignty was also responsible for my shuttle bus not arriving on time. I took my time approaching that young lady and probably would not have said anything to her if my shuttle arrived first. However, God was going to ensure that His will for her life be accomplished. It made perfect sense as to why there were multiple shuttles for all of the other parking lots except the one I needed. Once the Holy Spirit gave me that revelation, these powerful questions came to mind: What is being held up because of your reluctance to spread the gospel? Who's lives are being affected? and What measures does God have to take to accomplish His will?
You see... As a result of my hesitation, my life, the young lady's life, and all of the other people who were waiting for the A shuttle's lives were being held up. It was powerful because it really showed me the importance of hearing God clearly and moving when He says move. This reminded me of the prophet Jonah. Jonah received instruction from God to go to Nineveh and tell them to repent of their wickedness. Instead of being obedient to God, Jonah tried to run from the Lord by fleeing town on a ship. As a result of His disobedience, God had to send a storm to get Jonah thrown off the ship and into the belly of a whale to accomplish His will. Ignoring the voice of the Lord endangered Jonah's life, the people on the ship's life, and probably the lives of the people in the town of Nineveh who would have benefited from hearing the word of the Lord sooner. Who's life is being affected because of our reluctance to obey the voice of the Lord?
People ask me why it is that I believe in Christ. It's because of Sovereign moments like this where no one else can do what He does. God is able to control the shuttle, to nudge me to move, and to prepare the young lady's heart to receive the gospel all at the same time. There is none like Him. He's an on time God, but we've got to be an on time people.
So, as we kick off the year 2018, I want to encourage everyone to be mindful about hearing the voice of God and responding to the voice of God in a timely manner. We don't want to hold up our lives or others by withholding or delaying the gospel. We don't want the Lord's hand to be forced to create a storm or ruckus to get us to move. The Lord has commissioned all of us to spread His gospel in our own unique way. It's not about us going out and trying to do a million things, but simply about abiding in Christ and listening to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John Chapter 10 that the sheep know the Shepherd's voice, and they follow Him, and a strange voice they will not follow. So, let us follow the Good Shepherd in 2018 and watch God work!
Happy New Year!