This morning while arriving at work, I met a man in the parking lot whose face is familiar to me — though I have to admit, I don’t know his name (although he appears to know mine). The sun was shining, and, of course, the air was a bit cold (this is Canada, and spring is ‘just’ arriving). So our conversation went something like this:
“Good morning”, I said.
“Good morning,” he replied. Then he added something to the effect, “Are you looking forward to the warmer weather?”
At that, of course, I would have loved to have quickly replied to him, by saying something like, “Yes, of course, I am!” But I felt that to be too trite an answer. With that, we would have simply carried on with our regular business day. I sensed the Holy Spirit saying to me to “slow down” — there was more than met the eye, here!
This man needed the gospel. Jesus had sent me out to preach good news — not to talk about the weather! So instead of answering him back, quickly, I decided to listen to God, instead, and receive instruction from him.
“Just wait!” I could almost hear the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear. “Don’t say a word until I tell you to.”
So I just waited.
And waited some more.
Soon, the man realized that I wasn’t going to respond to his question, and feeling the deadness of the air, decided to keep saying something. He added something to the effect, “It will be nice to see the birds coming out at this time of year.”
At that, I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, “He’s getting warm. It’s almost time to answer him.” For without a shadow of a doubt, the Lord was setting me up to be able to respond to him. But it required my obedience! If I had not “kept silent” when the Lord said I should, then I would have missed this now glorious opportunity to invite him to my church!
Then, I knew that the Holy Spirit was leading me. I remembered the fact that my son was, on Friday nights, working on building a bird house at his church youth group!
It was the perfect opening.
It was natural. It wasn’t forced. It was just “me”, sharing something from the depths of my heart, because it fell perfectly in place with the conversation that we were having. But again, it would have never happened if I had not “been silent” when the Holy Spirit told me to be quiet!
I said to him, “My son, in fact, is in the process of building a bird house at his church youth group on Friday nights.” I could not help but then say, quite naturally, “We attend the Metropolitan Bible Church, on the corner of Bank and Gladstone. Have you ever been there? It’s a great church!”
With that, we were able to continue on our conversation, and now, it was in God’s mighty hands, all because I waited! Wow! So much blessing, just for waiting!!!
Within the next 10 seconds, I was able to affirm for him one more time that this was a good church, and that many people from our company go there, and where it was again. I invited him to come join us for a service one day in the near future. “If you ever find the time,” I said.
And I know that God has a definite “way” of informing people that they need to find the time for him!
I trust that, one day, I shall see this man there!