Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gracious Works: Starbucks and the Providence of God

Gracious Works: Starbucks and the Providence of God

Starbucks and the Providence of God

As I write this, I am in Vero Beach, Florida.  Holly and I drove down yesterday afternoon, and are going back to Steinhatchee this morning. The purpose of our quick trip, was to witness the baptism of our seven year old grandson, John William Andersen IV.  God saved Johnny a few months ago, and he followed the LORD in baptism last night, along with three other young men.  

I woke up this morning at 4:45 AM, and didn't want to wake the rest of the house trying to make coffee in an unfamiliar place, so I decided to grab a shower and head to Starbucks, where I could drink some coffee and have my morning devotions.

Upon my arrival at Starbucks at about 5:40 AM, I noticed only one other car in the parking lot, and a young man sitting at the table outside reading by the lights of the parking lot.  I got out of my car walked up to the door, only to find it locked.  They weren't open yet! I peered through the window and saw that there were workers in there, so I knew it wouldn't be long. I looked at the book the young man was reading and noticed that it was the Bible.  I am affectionately referred to by my family as "the greeter" (at least I think it is affectionately),  because of my tendency to speak to strangers. I asked the young man what he was reading, and looking up at me with a quizzical look, simply replied, "The Bible." I said, "It's good isn't it!" Looking up again, this time with an even a more quizzical look, simply said, "Yeah it is." I said, "Where are you reading in it?" He replied, "Samuel." I said,"Yeah, Samuel had a great mother but lousy sons." 

By this time, they were turning on the lights and unlocking the door.  Come to find out, they were running about 15 minutes late, just long enough for me to have this conversation with this young man.  

After we got inside, I introduced myself, and found out his name was Jason.  Jason, a young man in his mid to late 20s,  was saved about 10 months ago, and gave testimony of all that God was doing  in his life.  He shared how that God had totally changed him, given him a job at Publix, and a Christian girl friend who had become his fiance.  They are to be married in January.

As we continued our conversation, he shared with me that of late he had been experiencing a lot of opposition from the enemy, and was very discouraged. I was thankful that I could share with him, many things that God has used to in my life to bring me encouragement over the years. He had many questions, particularly about his upcoming marriage. I shared with him that Holly and  I are celebrating 31 years of marriage on Monday, and some truth from Ephesians 5, that I have found helpful through the years.

Jason said that he normally would not be in Starbucks that early on a Saturday morning, but that he had been awake since 3:00 AM and decided to come to Starbucks at about 5:00 AM, and read his Bible and drink some coffee. I normally would not be at that Starbucks at all.  But God in His providence had arranged for our meeting, and I was encouraged by it, and I believe he was as well.

When we got ready to leave, I asked if I could pray with him to which he heartily replied, "YES!" We prayed,  exchanged cell phone numbers,  and promised to keep in touch.

As I write this, I am back at Jeremy's and still haven't read my Bible yet, but I believe I have met with the LORD through fellowship with one of my brothers in Christ. Now to get in the WORD!