“They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.'” (Luke 5:26 NIV)
This reminded me of an incredible moment when I was filled with awe because I was a part of something remarkable.
I was in the auto parts store I had been in so many times. The young man behind the counter was always very friendly and helpful. He remembered my name and greeted me each time I came in. That day he had shared he was possibly going to be moving on and getting his own store. It was then I felt the nudge. It was that quiet voice I had heard before and it whispered to me once again. “Take him out to lunch”. I tired to write it off, but the nudging wouldn’t go away. I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation he was having with another customer so I tried to leave going unnoticed, but that nudging and quiet voice would not quit. So I gave in. I turned around as I was at the door to leave, walked back and said, “He Ryan, we should grab a lunch sometime, my treat, before you head out of here.” His response surprised me. I was thinking to myself, how awkward is this? What if he says no? What is he thinks I am just weird? All the reasons went across my mind to try and get out of this, but his response, “Sure man, that would be great” was a good surprise. We exchanged numbers and I told him I would text him to set up a time. I walked away thinking, Ok that wasn’t all that hard.
Later that day I had texted him to set up a time to meet. My schedule was pretty full so we had to schedule over a week out on a Thursday. On Wednesday (still a week and a day from our scheduled meeting) my lunch appointment cancelled. Ryan came to mind so I called him to see if he was free. He was so we met up at a local pizza place to grab lunch.
At first it was small talk and then he started to tell me about some of his life and what was going on. He knew I was a youth pastor so maybe he felt safe. Ryan has a girlfriend and they had a child together. He desperately wants to do the right thing but feels his girlfriend’s mom has turned her against him. He wants to be a good father and wants to be a good husband. I believe him. He seems to desperately be trying to do all the right things, but it just doesn’t seem to be working out. Soon in our conversation I felt that nudge again and that still small voice. “Tell him that you have been thinking about him and praying for him and that I have put him on your heart.” One of two things are going on here. I am either schizophrenic or God is really speaking here. I have a brief argument in my mind of all the reasons why saying this is a bad idea, but it won’t go away. So I try my best to preface it so it doesn’t sound super crazy and weird. “Ryan, look this may sound a bit crazy, and… I usually don’t do this. But I believe and have learned that when God is asking me to do something I really need to listen. He wants you to know that he has placed you on my heart and I have been thinking about you and praying for you.”
The next thing that happened blew me away. I never expected anything close to this. The expression on his face was one of complete and utter shock. Like he had seen a ghost. He said, “That is crazy”. I said, “I know”. He replied, “No you don’t understand Tony. I have not prayed to God since I was 5 years old. I had given up on God completely. Last night I was at my end with all of this. I didn’t know what else to do. So I cried out. God help me. If you are real, if you are really out there show me a sign, something, anything.”
And we were filled with awe, because God had done something remarkable!
I don’t believe it was coincidence that my lunch meeting cancelled the day after Ryan cried out to God.
God is always working and doing remarkable things. The question is are we too busy for them? Are we listening closely for His still small voice? Are we ignoring that voice? Are we shrugging it off? Are we afraid? What holds us back?
I know one thing. I want to be filled with awe! I want to see more remarkable things!
How will you be filled with awe?