so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11 NIV)
Santa Cruz is not a city where people are seeking God. In fact, they often seem to be seeking after anything BUT God. Actively avoiding eye contact with the one who loves them. But yesterday I was reminded that God is still seeking after them. And to anyone who will respond, he will find a way for them to hear the words of life.
Somewhere in Santa Cruz recently, an Indian man and his wife have felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know how or where. But apparently they’ve vocalized to each other that perhaps they should get a Bible. I don’t know if they took any action toward obtaining a Bible, but, regardless, yesterday this husband was crossing the busiest street in the city and a Bible was laying in the crosswalk. He picked it up, not realizing that it had been intended for a seeker all along and was in a translation (NLT) that would make for easier reading.
I saw this Bible laying in the street as I headed to church last night. Friends from Arizona were with me and one of them ran out to pick up the Bible. It was near our house and I was quite sure it must belong to a young man who had just been watching the Olympics with us. But before Mike could get to the Bible, another man had picked it up on his way across the street. When Mike asked him if it was his, he responded quickly with a “No, but my wife and I were just talking about how we wanted to get a Bible”. For Mike, that was all he needed to hear. That Bible now belonged to the man for whom God had intended it.
As it turned out, that Bible didn’t belong to our friend. It was ours. Here’s the story of that Bible:
About a year ago I bought this Bible for a friend of Caleb’s (my oldest son). Ryan was not a Christian but was coming to FCA and wanting to have discussions about spiritual things. I gave the Bible to Caleb to give to Ryan, but as sometimes happens, he just never gave it to him. I understand. Life happens. They didn’t see each other over the summer and by September we were preparing to move to California. But, it’s important to note that this Bible was always intended for someone who was searching.
Cade (my middle child) has been using it for the past couple of months. Yesterday morning after church he placed the Bible on top of a friends car (he’s fifteen–who knows why he does these things) and forgot it. This friend drove five miles to our house with the Bible on top of his car, spent the afternoon watching the Olympics with us, got back in his car hours later (without noticing the Bible on the roof!) and headed to church. On the second turn from our house, it finally fell off and landed right in the middle of the crosswalk, minutes before a searching man was crossing the street. But not only did God want this man to have this Bible, he was kind enough to let us in on his plan. He let us see the Bible (in perfect condition in the middle of the street), meet the man and hear him tell us of God’s work in his life. Amazing!
Who is this God who will go so far as to place a Bible in the path of a man who is seeking? Who will allow a small-faithed woman like myself to share in his joy at the finding of this gift? As we drove to church that night we prayed that this man and his wife would find Jesus on the pages of that Bible. That they would follow Him and discover a community of others who would help them. And I prayed for my own soul. For the doubt and disbelief that plagues me. May my eyes be opened to this great God!
Kelli is a writer, speaker and consultant equipping leaders for a deepening intimacy with Christ, greater impact in ministry and more effective intentionality in all of life.
Book Kelli for your next event or retreat.
Find Out More >>