Who's on the floor?

While still a newspaper editor in Chicago, author Lee Strobel sensed the Lord telling him to invite an unbelieving work associate to Easter services on Sunday. He went into the man’s office and extended the invitation, which was rejected. Lee tried to witness to him about the evidence of the resurrection and again, the man wouldn’t listen still holding to his atheistic beliefs.

“Lord, what was that all about?” he asked. He said it bothered him a long time.

Four years later, Lee had become a pastor, and a man came up to him one Sunday and thanked him for his spiritual influence in his life. Lee didn’t understand who the guy was, so the man explained.

Four years before the guy was working on the floor tile when Lee came in to invite his coworker to Easter services. Lee never saw him. As Lee explained the evidence for the resurrection, the tile man’s heart began beating fast and he thought , “I need God.” After Lee left, the tile man called his wife and said, “We’re going to church on Sunday.” They went to the church to which  Lee had invited the other guy,  and he, his wife, and his teenage son came to the Lord.

When I heard this story, I thought about times I sensed God leading me to do a particular thing, and it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. Sometimes a writing project doesn't have the impact I hoped it would, and I’ve felt as if I missed God or that I did something wrong. In this story, Lee learned what God did in that situation with the guy he witnessed to, but sometimes we don’t, we obey and trust the Lord is at work.

“ . . . 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). When we share the word of the Lord, we may trust as Isaiah writes that God will accomplish his purpose.

Unseen folks in our sphere of influence, those metaphorically on the floor, are listening to what we share about the Lord and His word. They are watching how we live out the truth of the gospel. The important thing is that we’re obedient to what God places in our hearts. We leave the results to him.

If you haven’t seen the movie, The Case for Christ, it is a wonderful film about how Lee Strobel came to the Lord. I’ve had the privilege of having classes with Brian Bird who was co-producer and screenwriter on this script based on Lee Strobel’s book. It is available on several streaming services.