When I was in my early twenties I went on a trip with a group of friends to Eastern Europe. During that trip, I met an interesting young woman. It was a Sunday and I was feeling tired, so I went to the hotel lobby to get a Nescafe when I saw this young woman talking to the owner. Her name was Sarah and she asked me where I was from and then I asked her the same question. She told me she was from Jerusalem and I got oddly excited about this fact. I was so full of energy, I immediately asked her a question concerning the spiritual atmosphere in Jerusalem. She told me that the spiritual climate mainly consisted of Muslims, Atheists, some Jews, and barely any Christians. She proceeded to tell me she was Atheist, but really more of a universalistic, New-Age type (culturally Jewish, of course). She had just finished her undergraduate degree in photo-art and was in Eastern Europe to display her exhibit on intimate family (which is funny because our group called itself a spiritual family).
As we continued to talk, I shared with her some intriguing revelations from the Old Testament I had just learned the day before from one of my friends on the trip. She was so fun to talk to because she had grown up hearing the Old Testament but had no idea that any of it pointed to Jesus. She had also known a few facts about Jesus, but had never heard his story from the New Testament. As our conversation was winding down, my two friends, Melissa and Christine, walked downstairs and start talking with us. I headed out to the evening church service while they sat down and continued chatting. Melissa then played a song her husband wrote about God called “Beautiful” and asked Sarah what she felt during the song. Sarah could only listen to half the song because she felt truly touched by the Holy Spirit. Christine and Melissa invited Sarah to church that night, but she didn’t come until after it was nearly over. Afterward, we all went out to dinner and the whole group got to meet her. She instantly became part of the family and was astonished at the joy and love that we carried because of Christ. Later that night, I got to share with her more of the Gospel story and she listened receptively.
The following Sunday, we invited Sarah to church for the evening service where we were helping out with worship and preaching and she said she would come. Earlier in the week, a couple of us had decided to pray for Israel with the pastor of the church. As soon as we started praying for Israel, Sarah walked in and sat down. Later in the service, we prayed over Sarah and she said later that she felt like a representative or representation of the nation of Israel. My friend, Mark, led worship and felt God was doing something really specific with it that night. He started singing “Let it Rain” over and over. It was powerful! Then, my friend, Phil, shared his testimony and it seemed to be exactly what Sarah needed to hear based on what she had told some of us (but not Phil) about her past. It was as if the whole thing was set up for her to encounter God.
After the service, we went to dinner and Sarah kept saying she felt like God would send rain, since we prayed and sang to God about it. Now, it had rained maybe once when I first arrived to this country, but other than that, it had been sunny each day. Later that night, a couple of us were talking to Sarah about Jesus outside our hotel under a large awning. As we began to talk we heard a few raindrops overhead. We thought that was strange, but nothing too crazy. We continued talking and the light rain stopped. She asked us about Jesus walking on water and we told her the story from the Gospel of John. She was fascinated by that story, as she had swam in the Sea of Galilee growing up, and then asked about being born again. We read her the Scripture passage from John 3 and she was really intrigued by it. Then, some of the people from our group went upstairs to get ready for bed while Phil and I were left with Sarah. Phil shared a couple more things about his story of encountering Jesus, and then she asked me, “Is there a prayer I need to pray before I get baptized?” I thought about it and said, “Nah.” Immediately after I said that, there was an absolute downpour of rain over us. It was loud and coming down so hard that it went through the awning and started getting all of us wet. Sarah was so excited God had sent her a sign that she went outside the awning to dance in the rain, but much to all of our surprise it wasn’t raining outside the awning. It was literally only raining right over where we were sitting. The fear of God came upon me and I was filled with awe at this dramatic sign sent from God. He was just there, and his mighty hand was on Sarah!
This, my son, was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen God do. I hope this encourages you to expect the miraculous in your life.