What started as a trip to Omaha to pick up his older brother, ended up being of eternal significance for a young man in Council Bluffs as Owen and I sat down for supper.
It wasn’t too long ago, and I wrote about how important it is to understand that God is sovereign and in control. That theology came into play on Wednesday evening as we seemed to be wondering aimlessly in Omaha.
My eldest son’s flight was delayed yet Owen and I left for Omaha early in the evening with a few hours to kill before the plane landed. We decided to bring our Bibles and sit down for a meal and discuss scriptures.
When we arrived in West Omaha at 10:00 p.m., we looked for a place to stop and eat and share with one another. It seemed that nothing open was going to be open much longer so we continued east on Dodge St. Nothing. We headed downtown to find more of the same.
I remembered 30 years ago there was a Denny’s or Perkins on the south side of Council Bluffs off the interstate. We would often go there in college to study. A habit that has stuck with me as I sit in Village Inn writing this.
Unbeknownst to me, there was no longer a diner anywhere in that area. We drove around a while sliding on the ice desperately looking for something.
Utilizing a cell phone app, Owen found that Buffalo Wild Wings was open until midnight and close by. As we pulled up, I asked Owen, “Still want to bring our Bibles in or should we just eat?” Owen almost seemed taken aback by the question and insisted we take our Bibles inside.
After we ordered we tried to decide what to read and discuss. Owen wanted to look at Galatians. I told him I just was not feeling it and would rather look at John 1.
We got into a pretty good discussion about the Light of the World coming into our darkness to offer salvation when a young man walked by gazing at our table. I thought maybe he was a bus boy or something.
Ten minutes passed and he walked up and asked if we were reading the Bible. He then asked if he could join us.
For the next half hour, the young man shared his life story and how he was at a crossroads in his life and didn’t know where to turn.
I offered the seventeen-year-old some fatherly advice and then told him I had something even better to share.
We looked together at John’s claim that Jesus was the True Light that has come into the world. Ultimately, we landed on John 1:11-13.
11He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. 12 Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
We prayed with him that he might become a true Child of God and that the Light would shine in the darkness of his life. It was truly a joyous opportunity to be in the right spot at the right time for the right purpose.
If the story is not enough to help us see that God is indeed sovereign, the conversation on the way to Omaha centered around being available for God’s use wherever you are.
It is always special when God shares with us a truth and then gives us an immediate object lesson to bring it home.
Prayers for that young man. I have no doubt that God brought us together for His purpose and that He will continue to perfect His work in him.