Are you aware that God has a network? You may ask, “What kind of a network are you talking about?” Well, God’s network is multifaceted… He uses a variety of people and circumstances as part of the process of introducing and bringing people into a personal relationship with Himself. He works through personal conversations, simple caring gestures, and living testimonies of His love and truth. He will even allow us to face difficult people who want to draw us into confrontational situations, in order to show them His patience and kindness through our right responses. Sadly, we often tend to look at such encounters as annoying, coincidental happenings and not something that could really be important to what God is doing. However, the opposite is true, because such seemingly trivial encounters are God’s way of accomplishing great things.
A few years ago, an airline pilot called the FCAP International Office to share with us how he had seen God work through a network of people around him at his workplace. He told me that often when he worked the flight deck with Christians, he would look for any opportunity to openly question and even ridicule their faith. He went on to tell me that he knew many of these Christian pilots were connected to FCAP. So, whenever he saw FCAP publications in different airport crew lounges, he would put them in the trash. However, in most cases he experienced that the Christian pilots with whom he flew treated him with respect and showed him grace in spite of the antagonism he showed them at times.
Suddenly Larry’s personal life went downward and into a tailspin; so much so that life became hopeless. During this dark and difficult time, he often remembered the Christian pilots with whom he had flown and how they had shown him kindness. God used this to humble Larry and point him to Himself, and out of desperation Larry cried out for God’s help. Within a few months Larry entered into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Shortly after this, he wanted to find the Christian organization to which the pilots were connected, but he could no longer remember its name. A few months later he was in an airport crew lounge and once again saw one of the FCAP publications. That is when Larry called to tell us his story. He said his reason for calling was to express his deep gratitude for the impact the people in our ministry had on his life. He paused and then said, “I wanted to contact you but didn’t know how – and now that I found you, I feel like I have come home.”
I’ve often wondered how many of the Christian pilots who had flown with Larry over the years had considered their encounters with him as one of God’s significant opportunities. If asked after one of these flights, some may have said, “I had a great opportunity to show God’s love to a pilot who was antagonistic toward my faith.” Others might have responded, “I had a difficult trip and tried to be kind to a pilot who didn’t like Christians.” No matter what they thought about the trip, God used each one who offered a Godly response to Larry as part of the process in bringing him into a personal relationship with Himself. And, according to Christ, all of them will rejoice together over Larry’s salvation. Do you see yourself as part of God’s network?
…So that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor. (John 4:36-38)