It would take a miracle.
I met Robin while living in Southern California. She was a single mom with two children, a girl five, and a boy nine. Robin used to go to a church with her children because she thought it was the right thing to do…for them. But she felt somewhat alienated by the people in the church because of her unmarried status. And to add to the alienation she felt, in order to make ends meet, she had a male border who rented her extra bedroom. Each time she went to church she felt eyes looking at her judgmentally. When her nine year old was refused baptism because his mother was unmarried and “living with a man”, it was the last straw. Robin hauled her kids out of the building and refused to go back.
She started coming to our church, not really trusting any pastor or church. But her son really wanted to go and kept hounding his mother to take him. Robin sat cautiously in our church for six months, taking in the sermons, while her kids went to children’s church.
Robin worked at a convenience store that sold gasoline. My wife and I liked to walk in the area of this particular store late at night, because our days and evenings are so busy and it was a safe neighborhood. And there was a two mile stretch near there that we enjoyed walking.
One night after our walk we stopped by the store to get gas. I never went to this particular gas station but my car was on empty so I pulled in, unaware that Robin worked there. But as I was pumping my gas, I looked into the store through the glass front and saw who I thought was her working at the counter. So when I was finished putting gas into my car, I went in to check it out and say hello.
It was indeed her. However, she looked almost afraid when she saw me walk up to the counter. But I said hello and talked with her for a few minutes. Just before I left she said awkwardly, “Uh, would I be able to come in to talk with you sometime? I have a few questions.” I said sure, set up a time with her and left.
When she came to my office a few days later, she talked with me for only a few minutes before I sensed she was very close to becoming a Christian. I posed the question. She said yes, and I led her in a prayer to receive Christ as her Savior. We both cried tears of joy as Robin stepped over the line of faith. It was one of those beautiful salvation moments.
However, it was then that she told me her side of the story.
It seems that earlier in the same day I had come to her store, she had been having a “Gideon’s Fleece” discussion (Judges 6:36-37) with God. She had been hearing the sermons for six months and God had been speaking to her through them. Earlier that day He was impressing upon her to call me and ask me her questions, to which she was resisting.
Finally, in a moment of frustration she posed a demand of the Lord. She said, “Ok God. If You are real and You want me to talk to Chris, I want You to have him come into my store, today while I am working. If he comes in, then I will know you want me to talk with him.”
She was making it as tough on God as she could. She was reasonably sure that I would not come into her store since she had never seen me there in all the six months that she had known me, and since Southern California was not a place where you see people you know very often. It would take a miracle.
She was so shocked when she saw me come through the front door, she almost fell over. God had taken her up on her ‘demand’. That year I was privileged to baptize both Robin and her son.