Last night was the last night for our group of gals to meet together face t face. We were small in number but once again God proved that He has a time and a place for everything and everyone. We were a notoriously late starting group so when there were only 3 of us at “starting time” none of us thought anything of it. As we visited while waiting for others to come we were suddenly interrupted by one of our gals hustling into the room apologizing for being late and going on to say, “I can’t stay long but I came for prayer. I need to pray with someone.” There was no hesitation. All three of us welcomed her in and listened to her concerns dealing with a very tough situation with some of her family. Lives are in danger and they are in another state with no family members near. She tearfully told us of this latest situation involving 4 of her great-grandchildren. With tears in all of our eyes, but determination in our hearts we held hands, bowed our heads and prayed from our hearts. We asked the Lord to protect and provide for those in danger and we prayed for Solomon-type wisdom for our friend. After leaving our concerns with the Lord she got up and quietly left to meet her daughter to decide what to do next for their family.
Our nights theme was purpose. Purpose even when you are learning to live with a “new normal.” The piece of this lesson that spoke directly to my heart was when Carol Kent told a story of a Christmas spent at the prison with their son J.P. She told of going to the rest room. While in a stall in the rest room a woman burst in, crying, cussing and saying, “I HATE THIS PLACE. I hate everything about this…”and on and on. Carol quietly states, “My previous, professional Christian self would have come out, stood beside the woman and put my arm around her while quoting my top 5 favorite verses and then said a prayer for her and left. My new self came out, put my arms around her, held her and said, “I know. It’s awful. I hate this place too. My son is here.” and after holding her awhile longer (as they cried together) she wiped her eyes and left. Carol and I agree. We both believe she shared Jesus just as, if not more effectively with her “new self” than her “old professional Christian self.” There is nothing wrong with sharing scripture (I do it alot) but what she was talking about was the difference between being willing to truly feel with someone, being willing to hold them and possibly mess up your outfit or make up. Caring with all you’ve got – literally. My husband and I were talking about this type of thing a few weeks ago. We decided that we want to be the type of people who won’t just tell you we will pray for you, but will stop right then and there and pray with you. We are different people than we were 7 years ago. We don’t want to waste time just talking about doing something or caring. We just want to do it, day by day, right where we are. People are way more important than our schedule, our list of things that need done and even our beautiful, comfortable, wonderful church building and services. Sometimes, like today, sharing a heart-felt big hug with a co-worker who’s had a really tough time that got resolved today is sharing Jesus better than sharing my favorite Christian book. That’s hard for me say because I love reading and sharing what I read. But my co-worker would rather have me in her life than just my books.
Our group of three gals fulfilled their purpose with our friend last night. We didn’t worry about the evenings “agenda”. We did what we knew we should. We listened, cried a bit and prayed with someone in need. If you are reading this you are one of God’s “treasured possessions”. He has a purpose for your life, no matter what it looks like to you. In fact I’m going to be bold and say, especially if your life is looking a lot different than what you had planned and you are still faithful to our Lord. Your faithfulness is a fantastic witness to others of the greatness of our God. Thank you.
Please share a thought that the Lord has laid on your heart over the past few weeks. You just might encourage someone else to hang on, step up or patiently wait one more day. That just might be one purpose for YOUR life!