A Surprise Trip to San Diego
This post is a continuation (post #1) of A Watchman on the Walls, so read that if you want to know what is going on.
My incredibly cool older brother is really good at what he does. He is a natural leader, persuader, and hard worker. So when his wife, Susan, called me up and told me that Ken had won the most honored award in his company, I wasn’t all that surprised. But the REALLY fun part is that, as part of the surprise, the recipient’s entire immediate family would be flown out to San Diego to the company’s national conference held at the five star resort, the Grand Del Mar to be there when the winner was announced. With a two weeks notice I arranged for friends to take different shifts of watching my kids with my amazing husband taking the night and morning shifts, so that Benjamin and I could fly to San Diego for a 36 hour trip to watch my brother receive the award and celebrate with him.
I was SUPER excited to get to see Ken as well as my other brother and sister who were being flown out. But I was also excited to be in an atmosphere other than home, the seminary, and our church, so that I might be able to share Christ with whomever I encountered. I had my husband praying, and my kids praying that Mommy might be able to share Jesus with people who don’t know Him as their Savior.
The first flight I sat next to a woman flying back from Disney with her two kids and husband. I silently asked the Lord for opportunities to share His truth with her, as we struck up a conversation about raising kids. I tried to ask deeper questions that might lead to eternal matters. “In raising your kids, what types of hopes do you have for their lives?” “What types of principles do you desire to instill in them?” The typical modern mentality emerged “That they would believe in themselves” “That they would be good people.” “That they would realize that family is important” etc. But it also unearthed some of this woman’s history-she had grown up in a Pentacostal church, and her husband in a Catholic one. She admitted that she feels bad that her kids don’t really learn much about God, although she still believes in Him. The conversation didn’t dive into the full Gospel, but I did bring up the fact that all people, including children are worshipers (Thank you, Ted Tripp) and that they will always be worshipping something, so if you don’t want your children running into drugs, or alcoholism, or abusive relationships, they’ve got to be taught about the One who can be worshipped without still leaving them empty…. The God who is actually worthy of worship and who pours back into His worshipers. We parted ways after the plane landed, and all I could do was pray that God would trigger something in her heart to send her and her family searching for Him.
The next flight I sat next to a woman, who was busy reading a book, but I kept asking the Holy Spirit to come into that situation. Eventually I struck up a conversation, and I found that she was involved in a church, but said that she just hopes that God would forgive her for the ways she’d messed up. I tried to explain that Jesus already took all the punishment that we deserve and we are able to be forgiven because of HIS perfect record not our own. But she kept saying that she just hoped that God would look at the good stuff she had done, post “the mess up”. I wanted to scream, “That’s not how it works! You are FREE if you stop trusting in yourself to earn a right standing before God!” But it just seemed like my words were hitting a brick wall, and not being internalized. I came away from that conversation discouraged, and understanding more fully that it truly IS only the Holy Spirit’s work that opens ears and eyes.
The chauffer that drove us (all the family members that were flown into the airport) was super friendly and almost like a tour guide as we drove around San Diego on our way to the resort. It was too hard to try to have a deep conversation with a bunch of people in the vehicle, but I just trusted that it wasn’t the Lord’s will for that particular leg of the journey.
More to come…the super exciting part, an amazing divine appointment.