Golden Corral, Wawa & Divine Opportunities

“My story begins almost a year ago. My family and I were just finishing up lunch at Golden Corral and my daughter and I were walking to our car. A man approached me and told me his wife and two kids were on their way to Delaware and they ran out of gas and needed some money to get home. He did not seem legitimate, so I reached in my pocket, pulled out a crumpled dollar bill and gave it to him. He thanked me and we parted ways. I did my “good deed” and we went our separate ways.

Fast forward about a six months and I was on my way to work at four-thirty in the morning. My usual routine is to stop at Wawa and get a cup of coffee to wake me up in the morning. As I was entering, a man met me at the entrance and told me that his wife and kids were on their way to Delaware and then ran out of gas and need a little money to get home. As you may have guessed, this story sounded familiar. In fact, it was the same man that had approached me at Golden Corral! I told him that he was being untruthful, but I brought him inside and asked him to pick out a sandwich and drink and paid for it. As we walked outside, he saw that I was wearing my church sweatshirt and he shared that he used to go to church but he stopped going. I told him to get back to church and to start telling the truth. He thanked me and I got into my car and headed for work. Another “good deed” accomplished and life went on without a hitch.

The course that I am currently taking on evangelism has caused me to wake up each morning and ask God for opportunities to serve and share the Good News with others. This past Friday I was on my way to work and I stopped at Wawa.  In fact, it is a new Super Wawa equipped with a gas station that had been built about a half a mile from the one I use to previously frequent. As I was walking in, a man approached me and told me that he was on his way to Delaware with his wife and kids and they ran out of gas. This was the third time the same man approached me.

To be perfectly honest, the first thing I said was, “Can’t you come up with a different story?” in a sarcastic yet comical tone. (I am still a work in progress.) He asked me what I meant and I told him that he had told me the same story on two previous occasions. I told him that I would not give him money but told him I would give him something to eat. I took him inside, bought him a breakfast sandwich and drink, and he apologized. He then told me that he was homeless and introduced himself at James. It was at this point that I realized that I never even asked him his name! I was convicted that I did not give the man worth in the past; a man that has worth to God.

When we went outside, instead of just getting in my car and going to work, I stopped and spoke with James. I asked him to share what his story was and reminded him that he had told me previously that he used to attend the local church. I asked him to share why he stopped. He felt somewhat uncomfortable, so the Spirit gave me insight and I said, “You said you were jobless and homeless. You look strong and healthy except for your addiction.” He looked at me and asked me how I knew, and I told him that God had revealed it. At that point he opened up and shared that he was hooked on cocaine, that his wife had left him, along with his two children, and that he was currently living on a friend’s couch.

I told James that God loves him and, in fact, God loves him so much that he sent His Son to die for him. I asked him if he already knew that or not. I told him that God is bigger than all his (and my) problems. He shared for about ten minutes and then I prayed with him and embraced him, telling him that God loves him and so do I. He asked where our church was located and I invited him out. I then got into my car and started driving to work.

As I drove away I thanked God for the opportunity (actually a third opportunity) to minister to James. I then asked God to forgive my previous apathy and missed opportunities. I was so busy with my own life and my ‘ministry’ that I missed God’s divine appointments.

Although I regret my previous missed opportunities, I am thankful that God prepared to act by spurring me on through this course on evangelism. I pray that as I go through life, whether at Wal-Mart, McDonalds or church that I am reminded that my mission field is wherever God has placed me at that moment.

As of yet, James has yet to visit our church, but I will continue to pray that God makes His presence known to him and that James turns from his current path and submits to the Lord.

I pray that all of us are never too busy to do the work of the Lord and that we are always open and aware of God’s divine appointments in our lives. Like Paul, we can take comfort and be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you (and me) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)”

-“Golden Corral, Wawa & Divine Opportunities” by Mike, 04/13

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