Sundays are usually rushed as we prepare to get ready and out the door to church early enough to get the bulletins printed and be there to greet our church family as they arrive. This morning however, I woke up early. Not only did I wake up, but I actually GOT up. (That’s been a chore for me lately as I seem to have the lingering exhaustion many describe after having had COVID). I had my shower, dressed and had an hour I don’t usually have. I sat down at the dining room table with my bible and my prayer journal and I had the time I’ve been longing for with the Lord for some time now. To be totally transparent, I’ve been distracted. If the devil can’t defeat us, he’ll distract us. There’s my job, the women’s ministry at the church, we have animals who need tended to, we’re building a cabin at the farm and I like to daydream and plan.. and there’s family and friends…. I started a daily bible study with the dawn of the new year and have been blessed with a few friends who are joining me on the journey. Leading this study holds me accountable to get up and spend time in the Word before I go to work every morning. I have been really enjoying that time and can see the fruit of that time in my day. But to have a truly intimate walk with the Lord – we need to speak to Him – daily, and often. This morning I spent the time .. I prayed for our country. I prayed for our children and grandchildren. I prayed for my church family. 25 minutes into prayer and I started begging God not to let the fire in my soul ever burn out. To use me to be HIS hands and feet. To let me LOVE LIKE JESUS! As I was done praying, my normal Sunday routine changed even a bit more…
Sometimes I drive to church separate from my husband, but it’s pretty rare. This morning I told him I was going to go ahead and drive separate and stop at Holifield for coffee and a scone on the way. Not only do I rarely drive separate, but I never go to Holtfield for coffee on Sunday mornings, that’s usually reserved for during the week on my way to work. The decision to alter my course took me on a street I would not normally be on. As I neared the corner, I saw her…. standing there with a bag of groceries and motioning me to go on and then she’d cross the street. It was a cold morning and the snow was gently falling… and as I passed it hit me…. like a punch in the gut …. a feeling of sadness, compassion and empathy. Almost like I was feeling what she was feeling. I started to pray “God, be with her…” I barely got that out when I he spoke to my heart “Tell her I love her.” What? Oh yeah…. I know that voice. Time for me to be obedient, time to practice what I preach. I negotiated with God as I said “OK, I’ll go around the block and if she’s still walking as I pull up the direction she was headed, I’ll stop.” I make a right turn at the stop sign. I stop and make another right turn, and sure enough there she was. And wouldn’t you know, there just happened to be the perfect spot to pull over right in front of her path as if God had picked the spot as well as the meeting.
I rolled the window down as she approached and I looked her in the eye and said “When I saw you back there something inside of me moved… then God told me to come and tell you that He loves you.” Of course you can see her trying to make sense of this… a woman pulls over… what’s she want? What? wait… she’s telling me that God loves me? As that statement was likely settling into her thoughts I went on to say “I feel like you are going through something, and God just wants you to know that He loves you and he’s with you.” She looked up and looked me in the eye and she said “Well, I am troubled this morning, that’s why I’m out walking.” I said “Well whatever you’re going through, God’s got you just seek Him.” She smiled through a tear or two and said “Thank you”. I drove away and the Holy Spirit hit, hard right there in my car. I cried and thanked God for sending me! And in that moment this thought came to mind: I don’t know if she was Republican or Democrat. I don’t know who she voted for, I don’t know what her past was like. And NONE OF THAT MATTERED! What mattered this morning – in that moment – is that God wanted my obedience. God wanted to use me to let her know that He loves her! THAT is what he wants us to be doing in this time of chaos. He wants us to quit focusing on the division and start focusing on our calling – TO SHARE HOPE AND LOVE and win souls to Christ. There are a lot of people who are walking around “Troubled” today. People who need the answer that YOU have. Now more than ever we need to let our light shine and not just go to church, but BE the church!
Who’s ready to pray with me daily – Here I am Lord, send me!