Not even 3 hours earlier, we were listening to Louie Giglio urge us to do whatever we were good at and be on fire for God. He told us we didn't have to move to South Africa or start a non-profit, just do what we're good at and shine His light to the world. This ended Passion 2012.
God decided to make this point apparently clear to our small group of 10.
We pulled out of Atlanta around 3pm (2pm Alabama time) last night. Almost instantly, everyone fell into a semi-comatose state. We were supposed to stop for dinner, but since everyone but me, one guy, and our "adult type person" fell asleep, I figured we would drive straight home. One awake guy looked straight back and me and I voiced that I doubted we would eat since everyone was asleep. As soon as I said this, everyone opened their eyes. A few minutes later, we got off an exit and went to a random IHOP in Union, Georgia.
As soon as we walked in, this young waiter started working to pull tables together so we could all sit together. Originally, an older lady was serving us. As more customers came in, the young guy walked over and told us that he would be taking our table for then on out. From the moment we met this guy, we could tell that he was just a perpetually joyful person. He smiled constantly and engaged in conversation with us. He had an outstanding memory; he took our orders accurately without writing anything down. He brought me 3 pickles for free!
As we started getting our food, we bowed our heads to pray. I noticed him walk up and stand behind Matt, who was praying, as he carried more food to our table. He saw we were praying and bowed his head as well. All throughout the rest of the meal, he talked and joked with us and apparently listened to us reflect upon our time at Passion and what God had stirred in us.
I felt something in me urging me to ask if he needed prayer. I acted on this urge. He told us that he didn't really have anything he could think of that needed prayer, he was content. He continued in calling us "spiritual warriors" and asked if he could pray with us instead of being prayed for. He lifted us up in the most encouraging verbal ways.
After everyone paid, he walked up to us and said, "I'm ready when you guys are." We all paused and looked confused. "To pray with you. Can we go outside?" So, the 10 of us walked outside and stood in front of this random IHOP with this random guy who just happened to wait on us that afternoon. He told us that he was truly content, but had problems with one of his arms and could use prayer for healing. We asked if we could lay hands on him and pray for him. My friend Carlos led the prayer to lift this man up.
He then asked to pray for us. We all joined hands in a circle and listened as this guy lifted us up in thanks to God. I can't speak for everyone in my group, but out of all the prayers I heard that week during Passion, his was BY FAR the most powerful. He ended in thanking us for what we were doing to praise God and pursue His mission in our lives. We told him goodbye, all of us still in awe over what God had just thrown in our path.
(Carlos actually got the opportunity to share what Passion was with a non-Christian who also worked at IHOP, but I won't try to tell his experience)
How CRAZY is that? Everyone woke up right in time to get us to that IHOP, he happened to switch to wait our table...everything fell exactly into place for that experience to happen.
It's like God was thinking, "I know y'all just heard that sermon and understood what Louie was saying, but I'm going to give you a solid example in approximately 3 hours. Prepare to have your minds BLOWN." (I like to think that God says "y'all") Well played, God.
I love those times...those moments when you know God was behind something. I am so encouraged by meeting that guy. I see what the "joy in whatever you do" Louie was talking about is so clearly now.
So that's how God blatantly made a point to the AU BCM Passion attendees, 2012 edition.
We serve a powerful God.