Developing News
This morning I thought I’d share this excerpt from Bill Hybel’s The God You’re Looking For. Bill is the senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, a congregation of around 17,000 people. You can imagine he’s a pretty busy guy. One day Bill was in a rush to get to just one of several meetings he had on his agenda. It seems God had other plans:
When I got partway there, I saw someone from our building services staff washing a window with the enthusiasm of a man who's just been given a life sentence. I remember thinking, “If this is a contest between the rag and the window, the window is winning.” I was planning to walk right by, but I could sense God squeezing my hand and whispering, “Stop. Just ask him how he's doing. It looks like he's hurting.”
So I stopped and I said, "Are you okay?" He looked at me and his eyes said, "I'm not, but I know you're always busy. And if I start telling you what's breaking my heart and you say, 'Gotta go, bye'—it's going to be too hurtful for me."
God squeezed my hand—a little harder this time—and said, "Let the other meeting wait," so I spoke to the man once again and added, "I'm not in a hurry. What's up?" And what came out was a kind of hurt that only a couple of us on staff could identify with. So I spent the next twenty minutes encouraging him and praying for him.
Later on, as I reflected on that moment with God and that man by the window, I realized that particular staff member has probably heard hundreds of my sermons. Yet years later, when he looks back and reflects on the impact that my life had on his, he probably won't remember many of them. But he will probably remember the day I stopped to talk when the window was winning.
When’s the last time you felt God squeeze your hand? When’s the last time you let God change your agenda for the day?
This Sunday we’re beginning a series of messages that will take us through the book of Acts. In Acts, God isn’t squeezing hands, he’s tackling folks. God (often through Holy Spirit) is always at work in Acts. He’s the hero of the story. And he accomplishes great things through people who are willing to be pushed around a little bit.
I hope the book of Acts pulls you in. I hope it squeezes your hand. I hope you’re drawn into an ongoing story and that you want to play a part. Because the same God who changes the world in Acts is still at work today.