More Adventures From the Land of Awkward
Recently, my wife posted a wonderful blog about her journey in the Land of AWKWARD. So, if you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes, go to her blog on this site and read it – then come back here if you want. That’s OK. I’ll wait…
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Welcome back! How did her blog grab you? Is this happening to you? Do you ask God for a word from Him about someone and act on what He tells you?
Adel has become really diligent at doing this. I’m coming along. In fact, I felt that I was lagging behind my wife in her spiritual walk and hearing from God, so I did something fairly radical (for me, anyway) – I asked God to help me take time to not just ask Him for stuff, but to help me hear what He has to say when I pray.
I didn’t really know what to expect. How would He do that? Would it feel like the way cartoons show it – a voice coming out of a cloud with a lightning bolt? A voice in my head (Lord, please don’t make me a weirdo, hearing strange voices!) Would he stir something in my brain and let me know with a still, small voice that it is God talking?
As Adel wrote, there have been times that He gives her a word of knowledge about someone and guides her in what to say. It’s awesome when He has given me another dimension on that word and I join in.
So… I’ve been on a business trip for the past 2 weeks. I stayed in a nice hotel, had most of my meals there and got to know a number of the servers. Most of them were open to me talking about God and Jesus and stuff. One young woman who is a believer was especially receptive. But it didn’t get terribly deep. After all, I didn’t want to be this religious nut, especially since I was representing my company, and this was work.
But my last meal there, I decided to celebrate and get a really good steak dinner. I planned to go out of the hotel and try a different restaurant. But when I went to the Hotel Lobby, I ran into the young woman, with whom I had several conversations, and was going to say goodbye and then head out. When I asked her where to go for a really good steak, she asked if I hadn’t had a steak at the Hotel Restaurant, because that is what they were known for (and named after – duh!). So I walked into the seating area and got a table.
My waiter was a young man, early 20’s, millennial, ambitious. When he said that he would be my “food and beverage specialist” for the evening, I asked if that meant he would be my waiter and laughed. But he was very serious.
He guided me through the choices, recommended a wonderful steak selection and a great side and I ordered a glass of wine that paired with the meal. He also said that he would send out their famous bread made with yucca flour and cheese, accompanied by a tomato salsa.
The steak came out, and the side dish, but no bread. It was a slow night there and I was halfway through the meal when he returned to the table to ask me how the steak was. I said that it was absolutely delicious and then joked that it would be even better with their yucca bread. He asked if I would like some and I reminded him that he had said he would send it out. His immediate response was, “That’s not my fault!” After a moment he said he would bring some out to me.
His defensive response of blaming someone else and taking absolutely no responsibility for a very minor thing that went wrong really hit me the wrong way. I admit that my flesh rose up and I had to hold my tongue. AWKWARD.
But when he left my table and headed for the kitchen, I quickly asked God if He had something He wanted me to tell this young man. I waited just a moment, looked up to see if there was a cloud with lightning (sorry, not really) but immediately thought of Gideon! And then I remembered that when Gideon was being a coward and hiding in a wine press to thresh wheat, the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
The angel of the Lord did not point out Gideon’s weaknesses – He pointed out how God saw him. He called Gideon into his identity and destiny.
The young man came back with the bread. The Lord inspired me to ask if he dreams a lot. AWKWARD. But I did. He had a rather shocked look on his face and said, “Yes – I dream a LOT! How do you know that?” I told him that I had been praying for him and that God put in my thoughts that he dreams. I asked if he wanted to know more, and he said “Yes!” So I told him that God sees him as a strong leader, but that he doesn’t always step into that role when he knows he should.
He was really shocked. He said that is exactly him and asked how I guessed that by only hearing that he dreams. I told him that I didn’t guess, I simply heard from God about him when I was praying for him. I asked if he is a Christian and he said something like – not really, that he that he grew up in church, but is studying psychology and is looking at different motivational and meditation techniques.
Then I asked if he knew the story of Gideon in the Bible. He said he had never heard of him so I asked if he knew that God parted the Red Sea and took Israel through it when they left slavery in Egypt. He did know that story, so I told him that in the Promised Land, Israel was under attack by Middianites, and told him about Gideon hiding and God calling him a mighty warrior when he was not acting like one. He saw the parallel with his own behavior.
His only Bible was a King James and he didn’t ever read it. I suggested that he download the Youversion App and read Judges 6 & 7 in the New Living Translation. He said he definitely would do that! I gave him the basics of the story of Gideon, about the fleece, how God shrunk Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 10,000 to 300 and then used that 300 to defeat the enormous enemy army. Neat story. But the neater story is how God showed Gideon his identity and destiny by simply calling him Mighty Hero! And He did the same for that young food and beverage specialist that evening.
Turns out, it wasn’t so AWKWARD after all.