Finding God in the Strangest of Places
Genesis 28:10-16 – Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above itstood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
I am not one of those people.
But I became one of those people a few weeks ago.
I just moved into a new place. The house is beautiful and the neighbors are great from the ones I had met. Small problem, the place comes alive after 10pm on weekends AND weekdays.
I finally had enough.
One TUESDAY night, the only neighbor I had not met was awake in his back yard. Normally this would have been fine, except he was listening to country music…very loudly. And he had a whole bunch of friends over….loud ones. At about 2:30 or 3 AM I had had enough. I was supposed to be at work by 8 the next morning, which meant waking up around 630 and this dude was partying it up…on a TUESDAY!
I called the cops.
Yep, I became one of THOSE people. The old fart who calls the cops on my neighbor because he is partying.
I’ve been praying for this guy. But honestly, my prayers were not very nice ones. I was praying for the lightning bolt to come out of heaven and fry his sound system or for rain to come and put out his fire pit. I think I even prayed that he would go mute at one point.
I was not necessarily the nicest person praying.
So today, after church, I noticed two guys standing in between my yard and his. They were looking at the trees on my property and had chainsaws, gloves and heavy clothing.
This was it. It was my opportunity to meet this guy and put the fear of God into him.
(right about now, my girlfriend is laughing because she knows I do not come across argumentative in many situations)
I got a copy of the land document showing where my property line was and marched down there.
“Hi there, my name is Fred.”
He introduced himself and his brother.
Then….he proceeded to tell me that he was very happy today.
He asked me if I wanted to know why.
He said, “My brother just got baptized this morning!”
My eyes went wide.
This is NOT what I was expecting this heavily tattooed, bandana-wearing, Brett Michaels-looking guy to say to me.
Now the conversation changed.
God KNEW I was going to meet this guy and He gave me a glimpse into what is the most important thing in this guy’s life.
His brother shared how my neighbor has been evangelizing with him for years and he finally reached a place where he simply “shut up and listened” to what he had to say “rather than arguing with him.” He said when he simply let go of his preconceived notions of what Christians were all like, he finally learned that even though he isn’t perfect, Jesus is. And this same Jesus became sin to pay the penalty for our sin.
I was in utter amazement.
God was in one of the strangest places! He used my loud, raucous, rock-star looking neighbor to humble me and show me that my own lifestyle isn’t the only one that brings others to Christ. While I did explain that I wasn’t happy with his late night partying, I did explain that I am always happy to meet a brother in Christ, and today I met two.
Blows my mind to think just what God uses to teach me lessons in this life.
Our God is an amazing God!