God guides His children and wants to use us in everyday life—we are here for His purposes. I was recently reminded of this three times during a trip to Omaha for a stockholders’ meeting.
First, since I had an early flight to Omaha, I decided to take an Uber to the airport. The young driver, Antonio, started asking me questions. At one point I told him that one of the most rewarding things in my life was leading a Bible study. That prompted him to ask how he might get the most out of reading the Bible.
As it turns out, Antonio was a relatively new believer who had struggled in the past with drugs. In particular, he was looking for advice on how to follow God and resist the lures of his old life. God brought to mind a devotional process Navigators Church Ministries staff have been teaching people in churches and shared with us at a Council meeting a year or so ago. Since he is a driver for a living, I suggested that thinking of traffic lights might help him better stop, look, listen, and respond when getting into God’s Word:
Red: Acknowledge God, Creator of the Universe, Maker of all things, worthy of our worship.
Yellow: Read the Scripture passage. What are the facts? What are the truths?
Green: Go, apply it, and share with the world.
I agreed to keep Antonio in my prayers. How perfect that it was the young man’s job to drive, so he would see traffic lights throughout the day and be reminded of how God wants to speak to Him! I gave him a hug and went on to my flight.
Second, in Omaha a few days later, I pushed a friend’s wheelchair to the arena for a meeting. People wait as long as three hours for the doors to open so they can be one of the first to get a seat to hear the likes of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
While we were waiting, a young man came up and started chatting. We began talking about matters of faith, and he told me he was raised Catholic. His mom had recently had a stroke. His doctor brother said they should turn off the machines, but he hadn’t heard whether or not she had died.
He told us his name was John. “John the Baptist,” he joked.
“I was thinking of John, the apostle that Jesus loved the most,” I responded.
John was feeling more comfortable with us. He showed us a picture of his wife, who was a doctor, like his brother. He spoke about their marriage and how she had grown up with no religious affiliation. But they were married in a Protestant church in New York City. In the premarital counseling, he decided the Protestants “have it together better.” That led us into a wonderful conversation about how walking with God is more about relationship than religion.
My friend and I were only able to plant a few more seeds in John’s life, or water the ones planted in premarital counseling. Others will have to be watered more, and we pray there will be a harvest for the Lord in His time.
In my third opportunity to serve, I later shared the devotional method I had first experienced at the NCM Council meeting with my friend in the wheelchair. Now she’s using it, too. That devotional method I first learned in our meeting made it way beyond the meeting itself!
As I reflect on these opportunities, I see that God always wants to use His people. We just have to be alert to the needs. I’m greatly encouraged that God puts people in our way every day. If we watch for them, He can use us to help them draw ever closer to Christ—no matter where they are on the spiritual journey!
Gwen Scharp is a member of the NCM Council, a key group of Church Ministries stakeholders who meet twice a year to advise the Director Team.