Out on a date with my husband a few months ago, the server who collected our payment was particularly chatty. I felt like God was prompting me to reach out to her—to tell her that God was after her—so I decided to ask for her phone number...awkwardly. She gave it to me and we met for coffee a few days later.
Over coffee I told Sarah (name changed) that God was after her. We were able to meet three or four times in the weeks that followed, and she even came to church with our family. During each of those times together we talked about life, and God always came up. As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one God had been using to reach out to Sarah. She had been told several times, by customers at the restaurant, that God had a plan for her life.
Early last summer Sarah went on holiday for a few weeks and lost her phone. We lost touch completely for almost two months and I worried that maybe she had lost interest in our God talks or that maybe I had moved too fast.
When Sarah finally found her phone, she was only a few days away from leaving for Canada to finish her university education. She called me and asked me to help her move out of her flat. I was overjoyed to hear from her! She told me that during those two months when she couldn’t remember our house number and had lost our phone numbers, she would sit in her bedroom and will us to find her.
Ten minutes into our meeting, just long enough to turn onto a slightly quieter street, Sarah turned to me and said, “I need God. How do I do that?” I asked excitedly if she wanted to get the stuff out of her flat first and find somewhere quiet. She said “No!” She said that she wanted to sort it out right then and there. So that’s what we did!
I told her that all she had to do was tell Jesus that she wanted to follow him—that she wanted him in her life. She did, and the tears fell. It was truly a holy moment, and all I did was bless her experience with the living God who had hounded her all the way to London until she submitted to him.
Aside from how amazing it is to watch someone choose God (which is why we do what we do), this experience with Sarah was exciting because it represented a shift in the way I generally operate. There was nothing passive or wishy-washy about the interactions I had with Sarah. In fact, I felt quite annoying and abrasive. What I didn’t count on, though, was that the Holy Spirit was stacking the deck. I was one of many voices pointing Sarah to God; she was ripe for the harvest because many people obeyed God’s prompting to reach out to her. She was already desperate for Jesus; all we did was say it out loud.
This is what I want to keep doing—just saying it out loud—with no fear and no shame. It is becoming pretty clear that when the Holy Spirit is laying the groundwork, all we have to do is obey!
Sarah is in Canada now. We are in touch via email, and I am praying that she finds God’s people and continues to develop and grow in her relationship with Jesus.