I had a unique and unexpected experience the other day. I was having a breakfast meeting in a restaurant with the chair of a missions committee. When we had finished the meal, I asked the waitress for the bill and she replied, “That has already been taken care of. That couple over there has paid for your breakfast.” We were stunned and wondered if we knew them (or they us!), but when we went over to thank them, they were strangers.
“Do you mind if I ask why you did this?” I ventured. The woman replied, “I felt that this was something I should do. God bless you!”
“Are you Christians?” I asked. “Yes,” she responded with a smile. We exchanged contact information and promised to pray for each other.
As I later meditated on this experience, I was moved both by the expression of God’s love I had experienced, and also by the willingness of these people to make sacrifices at the prompting of the Spirit. Too often I dismiss such promptings as fanciful, when I should be more attuned to the way God’s Spirit is at work. The following day I wrote them this email:
I would like to express again my appreciation for your willingness to follow the Spirit’s promptings in your life. Your action has done far more for me than provide breakfast! I have felt affirmed and blessed by God through this. The fact that God would use you to speak such a message of encouragement to me has been both challenging and comforting. Not only is it exciting to meet people such as yourselves who are living out the reality of listening to the Spirit of God, but to have God care for me in that way through you has reaffirmed the belief that God is a loving father who brings people and instances into our lives that are in reality his hand of mercy and grace.
Your faithfulness in this has also challenged me to be more sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings in my life. I have a friend who listens to the Spirit when he is having conversations with others and is often prompted to say things to others for reasons of which he is unaware. Often people will come back and thank him for letting God use him to speak into their lives.
It is all God’s mission, we are along for the ride.