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God Knows How to Get People’s Attention
By Joel Osteen - Sep 23, 2009
Years ago, there was an older gentleman who used to attend Lakewood. He was in his 80’s when I was just a teenager. He was always so happy and had a smile on his face. He was very kind, soft-spoken, and gentle. He had an English accent, and he loved to quote the Scripture. Whenever I’d see him, he would call me over in his warm, friendly way and quote a passage of scripture. He knew no strangers. He was a friend to everyone.

One day when he was in his early 90’s, he was on an airplane to go visit some relatives in another state. He sat next to a man who was very negative, sour, and condescending. This man had a rebuttal for everything my friend said. When my friend talked about how blessed he was, the man talked about how miserable his life was. When my friend talked about the family he loved, the man talked about how he was divorced and estranged from his own children. When my friend talked about his health and how he was still going strong in his 90’s, the man told how he always felt tired and rundown. You could not find two more opposite people! My friend made up his mind he was not going to let that negative, complaining spirit affect him.

After they had talked a little while, the man got his newspaper out, and my friend got his Bible and began reading it. When the man saw the Bible, he started making sarcastic comments. He told how he was an atheist and didn’t believe there was a God. But, my friend didn’t get upset. He didn’t argue. He just stayed in peace; calm, cool, and collected. He told the man he would be praying for him. The man laughed even more sarcastically and said, “Oh, don’t waste your time.”

About an hour into the flight, the plane hit an unusual pocket of air and began to drop thousands of feet in a matter of seconds. Anything that wasn’t tied down shot up to the ceiling: passengers, flight attendants, food, purses. It was all stuck to the ceiling. Well, my friend was wearing his seatbelt, but the man next to him wasn’t. When he looked up, he saw the man stuck to the ceiling with eyes as big as saucers! He looked scared to death! The first thing he shouted to my friend was, “Pray! Pray!” My friend said, “I didn’t think you believed in God.” He said, “I do now. Just pray!”

It’s funny that when he came down a few seconds later, his attitude totally changed. He listened to every word my friend had to say.

It’s interesting how God always has a way of getting people’s attention. You may think nothing is happening in the people around you, but God is at work. As you let your light shine, you are planting good seeds that are taking root.

Keep living your best. Keep walking in love. Keep believing that God is at work behind the scenes and be ready. At the right moment, it will all come together, and you will see God move mightily in the people around you!
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