book of acts, Christian advice, dallas, flight, gods message, good or god, john bevere, lisa harper, long distance relationship, seattle, texas, the real world, tone it down, trapeze, turning worlds upside down, unequally yoked
So last I left you guys, I was flying through the air with the greatest of ease… ya, that song just popped into my head.. good thing I wasn’t on a trapeze, you just know I’m clumsy enough to fall on my head. But anyway, I had been flying back and forth to Seattle…
I just knew that God was going to use me on that trip, I just hadn’t seen it… yet. And it was time to go home. The first leg of my flight, this time from Seattle to Phoenix was about a 3.5 hour flight… kind of a little long for my usual taste, but it had to be done.
“Oh Lord, what a long flight and just who am I going to get the privilege of talking to?” So we get in, and naturally when I fly, I am always in the middle. When on my left, a woman I had seen in the terminal takes the aisle seat. She’s about my age and looks like she’d be interesting. But she gets in and immediately falls asleep…. “no God? then who?”
And in comes a younger girl, later I’d learn she is 30. And I assume because I’m carrying John Bevere’s new book, “Good or God”, I believe she started a conversation. She started telling me all about her long distance relationship that she’s been in for two and a half years. She lives near Seattle and her doctor boyfriend lives in Dallas.
Over the course of the flight, she lets little things slip out. Things like she used to want to move to Dallas. And how she had previously looked up what she had to do to transfer her teaching credentials to Texas. And how it now just magically works for them. If you know me, you’d know I was dying to scream that of course vacations and stolen weekends worked… And about how they’ve never had to solve a conflict together… and how she used to go to church.
This girl, we’ll call Lil, also commented on how she had always wanted to adopt. But now that she’s older she may also want one or two of her own, more like she was considering it because it would be something of herself and someone she loved… not really because she wanted her own. It’s really romantic when you think about it that way. But it’s not the real world.
Then came the kicker… she believed in God’s plan and he is Muslim! Oh honey! Stop in your tracks, just stop. And she seemed to be asking for Christian advice, wanting to hear someone say stop! She seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say.
“Now I know, God, now I know why and who. Please give me the words you want her to hear, the thing she most needs to hear to turn her around. Protect her.”
And so I started telling her that God says don’t be unequally yoked… this coming from the queen of experience with unequally yoked. (2 Corinthians 6:14) That the things that seem small right now will balloon up and be huge problems for her later. That raising kids with a Muslim would be a HUGE issue in her marriage. That she really wants God’s best in a marriage because marriage is hard, even at it’s best. I didn’t pull any punches. I didn’t want to say too much because, after all, I just met her. And I’m not exactly the quietest tool in the shed or the most politically correct. I wondered throughout the conversation if I should tone it down a bit…
There was a lot more to the conversation – we cried together and she knew what I said was truth. I could tell. I encouraged her to find a good church, there is actually one she was thinking about attending. I encouraged her to get involved this time after hearing that none of her friends went with her… find some new Godly friends, I suggested… Start here. Ask God what He wants for your life!
And all the while, a guy in the seats in front of us was listening… and some people behind us as well. And when we got off, I turned around and there she was in the terminal. we hugged and cried once again. And Since that day, Lil has come to my mind quite a few times. I’ve prayed for her and for God’s protection for her and for Hid plan to be realized in her life. I’ll probably never know, probably never find out, but in that long flight, we connected and she heard, really HEARD! Glory to God in the highest!
And here’s the thing. I saw all those people listening in. It made me self-conscious. It made me wonder if I should tone it down. And then this morning, I was listening to Lisa Harper talk about the book of Acts, how it is all about turning worlds upside down for God’s kingdom.
How can we or I turn people’s lives around for Jesus if we tone it down? The simple answer is we can’t. And it’s not because I/we are awesome, it’s because Jesus is, because God’s plan is simply the best for us. Because He has plans for You! He created you in Christ Jesus to do good works. (Ehpesians 2:10) And He has plans for Lil.
So I wonder just how many of those people listening in actually got something important from Jesus because of our conversation. I’ll never know that one either. But I truly believe that He has His hand on Lil… otherwise she wouldn’t keep coming to my mind so that I can pray for her.
So I thank God that He used me for her. And I thank Jesus that He uses me at all after my crazy past. and next time you think you need to tone down God’s message, think about this and message on! God will use it.
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
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