“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20)
As Christians, we are ALL ambassadors for Christ.
But you never know when God will tap you on the shoulder and say, “Today, you will be my ambassador.”
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
Being newly retired allows me to fly to Amarillo, Texas, to have a 72-ounce steak at the Big Texan (of course, there is more to it, but I’ve always wanted to eat at the Big Texan.)
It also means you can go to snowy Texas in 9-degree weather dressed “California Stupid” in T-shirt, flannel shirt, khaki pants and tennis shoes, announcing to anyone within earshot, “Hey, this ain’t so cold.”
Until I walked inside and found I couldn’t sit because my pants were frozen.
I wound up at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport waiting for my flight back to Los Angeles.
I was comfortably seated in the American Airlines section of the terminal, reading Pastor Steve Mays’ recently published book, “Overwhelmed by God.”
Seriously, if you have not gotten a copy, get one.
It is one of the most powerful, best-written books on God’s unending love for us that you will ever read.
I had just read Pastor Steve’s retelling of the familiar story of Jonah getting swallowed up by the whale when I put the book down to close my eyes.
I felt a tug inside of me, so I opened my eyes and was looking across the terminal to the United Airlines section.
One part of their area was full, the section next to that had a row of seats completely empty.
“There.” The word just popped into my mind.
There? Where there? The empty row of seats in the UA terminal? I should go there?
Why? I’m flying American, why would I leave my comfortable seat and move over to … and I stopped.
Didn’t I just read about Jonah and how he ran away from God rather than go to Nineveh as God asked him to do?
I didn’t know what was going on but I went “over there” and sat in the last seat in that empty row. I returned to reading “Overwhelmed by God.”
Obedience Pays Off
Five minutes later, a gentleman in a suit sat down two seats from me. He was joined by another gentleman in a suit.
I continued to read when the two men were engaged in conversation by a third man standing in front of them. He thanked them for helping to pass a farm bill and told them he was trying to get funding for his 11 hospitals in the Midwest.
He obviously knew the two men, whoever they were.
OK, now I think I know why I’m here. God wants me to do a good deed for the guy with the hospitals. Yes, that’s it!
“Sir,” I said, “I’m from Los Angeles and we are used to interrupting other people’s conversations,” which made them all laugh and feel at ease (I hoped).
“You said hospitals. By chance are any of these hospitals specializing in cancer treatment, particularly for children?”
“Why, yes, we have a couple,” said the man, who turned out to be a senior vice president with the Rural Community Hospitals of America.
OK, I for sure know why I’m here now.
I told him, “I think I can help you. Hyundai (the car maker) gives about $10 million a year ($250,000 per chosen hospital) to cancer centers through its program called Hope on Wheels. Check their website and give me your email and I will try to help and see how you can qualify. I will pray that God helps you in your search for funding.”
He gave me his card and thanked me. We shook hands and off he went.
OK, my good deed done, I went back to reading “Overwhelmed by God.”
There’s More Than What Meets the Eye
But like the Ginzu Knife commercial says, “Wait! And that’s not all!”
I thought I knew exactly why I moved to that seat. As usual, I was wrong.
I felt that tug again and a little voice whispering, “Talk to him, he won’t mind.”
OK, deep breath.
I turned to the fellow on my right and said, “Excuse me sir, but to whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?”
The man smiled and held out his hand to shake and said, “My name’s Frank Lucas, I’m a U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma, and the fellow next to me is Jim Bridenstine, also a U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma.
“We’re both on our way back to Washington, D.C. We should have left about half an hour ago but something is delaying our plane.”
OK, Lord, now I’m getting the picture. I knew Who was delaying their plane, but figured I would scare them if I said anything.
We talked about the weather, politics, God, and Calvary Chapels.
Me: “You know, the forecast for today called for freezing rain and snow flurries and neither is happening. It’s a pleasant 24 degrees. I prayed yesterday we would have a calm day to fly out in.”
Polite smiles all around.
Me: “You know Congressman, you have a lot of God-fearing people in Oklahoma. I often think your state and the Midwest as a whole are the Godly Glue that keeps the East and West Coasts from falling off the map of the United States.”
That made them laugh. Then the voice on the loudspeaker announced the United flight was boarding.
They put their personal items away and were about to get up.
Me: “Congressman, it would be my honor if you took this book as your own,” and handed him “Overwhelmed by God.”
“Sir, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, short of the Bible, that explains how and why God loves us so much.
“And I only marked up three pages,” I added, apologetically.
Congressman Lucas: “Well, I’m sure they were probably the three most important ones.”
As he got up, he held the book in his hands and read the title … “Overwhelmed by God and Not Your Troubles … by Steve Mays.
“Wow, sounds good. Thank you very much.”
He put it neatly in his satchel. We all shook hands goodbye and I told them I would pray their flight lands safely in Washington, D.C., and for God to help guide their future decision-making.
As they disappeared in the tunnel to board the jet, I found myself humbled before the Lord.
God Wants to Use You
I was getting misty-eyed, that God would use a cynical, complaining, combative, and constant sinner saved by grace to be an ambassador for Christ to two U.S. Congressmen.
It made me think.
Are we ready if God taps us on the shoulder and says, “Today, you will be my ambassador for Christ.”
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I can’t say I was ready, but I was willing.
And because I was, a major political figure can read how he can be “Overwhelmed by God” and showered in the magnificent spiritual love that only comes through Jesus Christ.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)