This summer while camping with my two teenage granddaughters, they decided I needed a facial makeover. As a means of escape, I shared with them how our society places such an importance on appearance while God is interested in working on the inside of us to change us into what He desires us to be. I explained that for that to happen we needed to cooperate and submit to His process.
I shared the story of how the Lord dealt with my Pride. It started one day when a street person in Vancouver asked me for money for food and how I reluctantly gave him money after he agreed not to buy booze, but sadly I watched him go into the liquor store. As I drove away, I asked the Lord what we should do and “by coincidence” turned on the car radio and heard a message encouraging us to actually take the street person into a restaurant and not only feed them but sit with them as well.
About a month later on a beautiful summer day, I finished lunch in Gastown and was walking back to my office dressed in a business suit when I was approached by an older dishevelled man quietly asking for money for food. I politely suggested he go to the Union Gospel Mission where they fed street people when all of a sudden, like a bolt of lightning, he started joyfully yelling, “Oh you must be a Christian, you must be a brother, hallelujah, you love Jesus, Praise the Lord.” It was loud enough that people half a block away could hear him.
I was getting a bit uncomfortable when I heard that still small voice reminding me of the question I had asked the Lord. I have learned when the Lord drops a nugget it is not time to debate, negotiate or pretend I didn’t hear or understand but it was time to obey.
At that time there was a Dairy Queen on the north side of Cordova Street, so I asked my new friend if I could buy him lunch. He quickly agreed so we crossed the street where he still loudly kept up the Christian expressions including when we entered the restaurant, so everybody turned to look at this odd couple.
I placed his order and found a table for him to sit and told him I would bring the order to him. He quietly asked, “Would you be too embarrassed to sit with me?”
At that moment I realized the Lord was dealing with my Pride so I told the gentleman that I would be delighted. As I went to pick up his order and a coffee for myself, I quietly thanked the Lord for bringing my Pride to light while repenting of it.
When I sat down I noticed the man’s appearance had totally changed – his face was full of love, peace, and joy, with a glow on his face when he quietly but firmly said in a loving way, “I know you are a busy man running a business so please do not waste anymore time with me as the mission is accomplished and you need to get back to work. Thank you.” He had no way of knowing I owned a business, but I knew there was no point of arguing.
In our walk with the Lord there are always exit or side doors we can conveniently take to avoid the work He wants and needs to do in us but sadly we don’t want to allow Him full control. In truly following the Lord we need to give Him Lordship of our lives. This means we truly allow Him to guide us to where He wants us to be and what He wants us to do in spite of the circumstances. This story is one small example of His leading, hearing and obeying.
He is faithful and loving wanting only what is best for us.
John Grady lives and writes in Fort St. John.