Encounters With The Master: Jordan's Story

NOT SEEING WHAT GOD SEES

I wish I could tell you my first encounter with Jordan was a good one and I saw great potential in the young man. However, when my youngest daughter introduced me to her friend, I judged him instantly. He talked to me like he knew me, showed me no respect, and barely let me get in a word in. I had never met anyone who could talk so much. Now understand I am a talker. My wife has called me a social pterodactyl. She said I have been known to attack people in social gatherings. So as an expert on the subject, this kid could really chat you up.

Now like most fathers, I did not see what my daughter saw in this guy, but he seemed to make her happy. I was ok with that. All I saw was two children running full tilt into a world that they were not ready for. I told myself that it was for their protection, as I tried to pull my baby girl from his grip. It seemed that the harder I pulled, the more she bonded with him. The day I found out they had run off and got married, I was heartbroken and angry. My mentor at the time told me to do my best to love the newest member of my family. For by loving him, I was in return loving my daughter. In my mind, at this point, I felt like a failure as a father and saw no good in any of this.

GOD REACHES DOWN

As a Christ follower, you pray that you could see God at work in miraculous ways. It seems to happen to those around you, but it can feel like it’s just not meant to be a part of your story. The other truth I have come to understand is that God has been at work and you are truly entertaining angels, but you don't realize it at the time. The veil is not pulled back and nothing is revealed until much later in your journey. I'm not sure why that is, but that is how things have been for me most of my adult life.

Until last night, Jordan and I have been bonding over the last few years. He and Abby have been married for three years and we have found many things we have in common. One of those things is video games. I'm sure I just lost half of you. In spite of what some may think, video games are a great stress relief for me. So there are many nights when I play just before bed to relax. Lately, Jordan has been joining me on missions via Xbox Live. We talk about our day, and it also gives me a chance to say “hi” to my daughter Abby.

We were having a good time driving around in the jungles of Bolivia watching out for the Yeti, and Jordan says, “I have something to talk to you about.” I’m like oh boy, what is this about? So I take a breathe and I said, “Ok, what's up”? He asked if I remembered when they were in church a few months ago. I said, “Of course,” and he continues to tell me how he had an encounter that he didn't understand. In fact, he said it “Freaked him out.”

Now understand this was Jordan’s first time in a church with my wife and me. He goes on to say that during the service, he suddenly felt a presence that caused him to feel loved and accepted in a way he had never experienced in his life. It didn't end there, he went on to say he also had a sense of peace that removed the usual worries he wrestled with on a constant basis. It was at that point I was glad we couldn't see each other, because I'm positive I had a look on my face like, “What just happened?” Suddenly, a door that I had been praying would be opened was unlocked and kicked in. Wow! All that was left for me to do was to step over the threshold and start a conversation that I thought would never happen in my lifetime. God reached down and touched Jordan in a real and an amazing way.

I struggled to sleep that night as I replayed the conversation in my head and the emotions that filled me were overwhelming. As I laid there, I suddenly was saddled with guilt over my judgment of this young man. The only comfort I found was the reminder that Scripture tells us we serve a God who is in control and His ways are not our ways. He looks on the heart of a man. I am so excited that God didn't allow my blindness to delay His plan for Jordan's life.

A few scriptures have come to mind in the last couple days that were important for me to meditate on. If you have someone like my son-in-law in your life, I pray they encourage you as they have me.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Secondly, we can turn to Proverbs 3:5-6 where we read, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Finally, we see God speaking in 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

May God alone get the glory as we continue to talk about the Master’s plan for his life.