Yesterday I wrote about the importance of witnessing to others in this unsettled time. The following is a deeper dive on that topic.
About ten years ago my family and I were in Colorado on vacation. As is almost always the case when we travel, we were staying at a Hampton Inn. I found through my business travels that Hampton Inn Hotels had everything I needed for a comfortable stay: a clean room, a fitness center, a firm mattress, a loud fan on the AC unit, and eggs for breakfast.
For those of you who’ve read my book “In Search of P.E.A.C.E.,” you know where this story is going but God gave me a nudge to share an abbreviated version.
On the first morning of our stay, I got up around 6 am to have breakfast and do my morning devotions. This routine has been a beautiful part of our marriage because Lori likes to sleep in and so does Jordan.
Upon entering the dining area I found there were no eggs.
I asked the lady overseeing breakfast if the eggs were due out soon and she said, “I’m not sure when they will be available, we ran out and our next shipment is due anytime.”
I calmly problem-solved in my head and remembered seeing a local diner not far from the hotel and figured they had to serve breakfast. I concluded I could eat and be back to the hotel in plenty of time to stay with Jordan while Lori got her breakfast.
While standing in line to be seated at the diner a rather disparate looking gentleman was standing in front of me. When the hostess came to seat him he said, “I’m not here to eat, I’m here to see if you can spare me a cup of water.” She gladly obliged and as she turned to fetch some water for him, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if I could buy him breakfast. His eyes lit up as he accepted my offer and I told the hostess that he would be joining me for breakfast.
Long story short–this guy was homeless and living on the streets of Fort Collins, Colorado. What struck me as odd with the gentleman was I sensed a very strong feeling of peace emanating from his spirit. I asked him how he was able to be so calm while living in such an uncertain and tumultuous state.
He looked at me and stated something to the extent of, “I was raised believing in Jesus and I did some things that got me off track but I’ve never stopped believing.” Then he asked me if he could take a look at some scripture in my Bible. I had my Bible and journal with me because I still needed to do my morning devotion.
I gave him my Bible and he began leafing through the pages for about a minute and finally said, “Here it is.” Then he looked at me and said, “Do you believe that what is written in this book is true?” I said absolutely!
Then he began reading this scripture to me:
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach, or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)
He handed my Bible back to me and said, “That is why I have peace.”
What Gary (that was his name) didn’t know is I was going through a trying time in my life. I had left my work family of thirty-two years through a leap of faith and the various unknowns of my future were making me quite anxious.
In that moment Jesus calmed me through His words read to me by a homeless guy.
On a side note–I paid the favor back to Gary by buying him a bus ticket so he could reconnect with some family in Florida.
That’s how God’s world works.
As we witness to others, they often witness right back at us.
Who is God calling you to share His words of promise with?
Or better yet, who is God calling you to share His peace and calm with?
His voice leads us not into timid discipleship but into bold witness. ~Charles Stanley
Journal your thoughts:
What am I grateful for today?
In what way(s) will I bring light to the world today?
What will I deny myself so I may draw closer to God and gain more peace in my life today?
God, I offer myself to Thee—To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always! Amen. (Third Step Prayer – Chapter 5, pg.63, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)