Yesterday, I experienced a sneaky presence of the Holy Spirit.
And I’m just an ordinary, every-day, human, sinner. Who is saved by Grace.
I’m nobody important. No particular ministry. Just a person of
In fact, I am absolutely and certifiably “CHIEF of sinners.”
With massive needs.
But, yesterday I went forward. Into a day that started with a long phone visit with my sister-in-law, Jan and was immediately followed with a positive, loving e-mail from a friend encouraging me in many ways.
I did not want to go forward because my GOOD knee screamed for me to STOP. SIT. STAY.
Sorry, knee. I had just slept for almost SEVEN straight hours. As soon as I woke and realized WOW !!! I SLEPT, I spent the next hour telling God THANK YOU. I mean … for this Restless Legs Junkie, seven hours is a HUGE gift; I was grateful and determined to handle the day responsibly.
After the first four errands, I dropped into the rocking chair on my back porch to visit, via cell phones, with a wise friend whose heart is for helping people find joy. I discovered a tiny smile that enabled me to continue with my day.
About noon, I was confronted with a hard choice: We needed groceries. Desperately. Well, energy had been granted. *sigh* okay. Go to HEB super market.
((( Parenthesis. The last few days had been… interesting but most difficult. Several friends are struggling with really big issues. And I have actually, specifically prayed for them. For mercy, grace, energy, healing, energy, grace, mercy… for my friends. Truthfully, there are SO many times I mention the needs of my friends in a fleeting manner then hurry to scream, beg, cry out to God for…… you guessed it: MYSELF.
I mean, being a wife, mother, grandmother, stepmother, friend, neighbor, aunt, sister, neighbor is downright hard and I NEED God’s instruction, leading, wisdom, strength, mercy, Grace, and help so that I can serve. Believe me, I require a LOT of God’s time. Just to hobble across the street requires MUCH help and love and mercy from our Holy Father. )))
But, for three days I literally FORGOT to pray for myself, for God’s intervention to keep me directed, for my own understanding. I simply prayed for others. I didn’t plan it—I’m not that disciplined or obedient. Yet, as each friend / family member came to mind, I lifted that person up to the everlasting love of our Triune God.
I just forgot about Liz.
Okay. Fast forward to the grocery store.
My GOOD knee screamed, Take me home; I can’t do this; it HURTS.
Ignoring the knee, I continued up one aisle and down the other. Then my basket LITERALLY (..accidently??? . . .) ran into the basket pushed by a friend I have not seen in about 3 months. Although lately, I’ve prayed for her a lot. ???
Oh my!! What a joyous visit right at the soups & canned veggie aisle. I learned specific things she deeply needs covered in prayer. AND she said meaningful and powerful things that specifically boosted me HIGH on my rocky journey. Just before she and I parted, another lady’s basket ran into ours. Oops….
The new basket belonged to a second friend who has been on my heart for reasons unknown to me. ???
Quick goodbye to Friend A. Happy hello to Friend B.
Another long visit. She and I moved our baskets around cookies so other shoppers could reach fine cheeses and we shared things of our two rocky roads that the other did not know.
Quiet, Knee !!! There is MORE shopping to do; Hush ! I’ll hurry.
Finally!! Made it to produce !!! Almost done. I have no memory of turning or looking up… just the pain in my throbbing knee. But I am absolutely certain that I felt a physical please-pay-attention “thunk” !!!
Friend C’s basket was a dozen steps away and she did not see me. As if in slow motion, I left my basket—and my purse—next to mushrooms and crossed the space between us in half a breath. She looked up and our embrace was instant, loving, sincere.
Over many years, we’ve shared more than a simple blog post can convey… life, death, praying, doubt, fear, death, praying, and life.
And, she has been in my mind, on my heart a lot lately. ???
In the produce section on an ordinary September afternoon, my friend was in my arms. We spoke of our faith—grown stronger in our aging years; of our recent wedding anniversaries and our husbands’ increasing frailties; and of course of our longing to see her daughter—who was taken from us several years ago in a sudden death straight into the arms of Jesus. Finally, my wise friend shared how she has learned that, as we look back, we see for certain that God always and absolutely gets there first and prepares the way.
The knee grew quiet as I bagged my own groceries for an overworked checker. Softness cuddled my heart as I navigated crazy traffic. Amazement softened painful thoughts when, back home, I handled first one crisis and then another.
WOW!!God really has been there all along.
He knows. He cares. He actually understands.
God IS right there in the middle of my HERE and NOW.
These three friends of mine do not know the others. The only thing they all have in common (besides a friendship with me, thank You, Father!) is their individual love of Jesus Christ.
J is the first letter of the first name of each of my three friends.
Just sayin . . . .
. . . . maybe God was determined that I should listen and learn. J.
May YOUR day also be filled with the blessings of prayer.
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin
against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you;
And may all of us
fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully
with all our hearts and consider
how great are the things He has done for us.
Taken from 1 Samuel 12:23-24 NIV