Life swings like a pendulum, with moments of frantic activity and periods of lull. Of changes and adjustments and figuring things out. There’s a flux to things, and I believe, a God-ordained flux at that as He aligns His children where He longs for them to be to carry out the task that He assigned. If we would but take our eyes off ourselves and place them where they belong–on God and others.
At 5:30 am on June fifth, my husband went in for surgery. I hope to tell you more about this later. 🙂 But for now, suffice it to say, we were both a tad sleep deprived and apprehensive. I spent most of the day in the surgery waiting room, and at first, was tempted to bury myself in my computer or a book, or any of the number of other things I’d brought along for entertainment. Yet, as I glanced around, I saw such need. Such fear, uncertainty, frustration… sadness.
I sensed God stirring within me the desire to take my view off myself, my fatigue and worries, and to make the most of the opportunity He’d provided. To be an instrument of His love at a time when these precious men and women so desperately needed it.
This is how God works. He often presents us with opportunities to share His peace, love, and grace with a hurting world. Unfortunately, I fear I often miss this, because I’m too focused on my little old self. That is exactly where my focus is 99.99976 percent of the time.
Only this morning was different, largely because God had shown my husband and I the evening before just how powerful, how reassuring and peace-ensuing, the prayer offered by one of His children can be.
With just over twelve hours before his surgery, my husband was beyond anxious. We prayed, I embraced him, and did all I knew in an attempt to soothe him, to no avail. It broke my heart to know I couldn’t comfort him. But God did, through the actions of a brave stranger God sent to meet my husband while he waited, two hours early, for his weekly softball game.
The man approached my husband and asked if he could pray for him. My husband said yes, sharing how much he needed prayer.
And so, two grown men, complete strangers, bowed their heads and prayed together in a baseball field parking lot. And as they did, an incredible, all-consuming peace filled my sweet husband, for he knew God had sent that man to him.
Emmanuel. God with us.
A few hours later, as my husband relayed this event to me by phone, I wondered, what if he hadn’t? What if that man had been too busy, too distracted, too embarrassed?
The next morning, as I sat in the surgery waiting room, those questions arose again and again, only now they were more personal: What if God is nudging me to show His love to someone *today* and I let my selfishness, anxiety, insecurities, or distractions hold me back?
I love this verse, in James 5:16 “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (NLT).
And I decided to act on it. I prayed with an old woman waiting for her husband to get out of surgery. I listened to and encouraged a man whose brother was undergoing triple bypass. I talked with a woman waiting for the surgeon to tell her if her toddler would need a bowel transplant.
With each encounter, I saw how incredibly attentive and loving God was, for He was there, in that waiting room, comforting, strengthening, holding.
To think, He allowed me to be a part of that.
We all have opportunities, each day, to share God’s love, sometimes in the most unexpected places or during the most inconvenient times. But when we choose to obey, we get to experience the glorious–God loving His children through us.
Today I encourage you to join me on “View From the Front Porch” as I share a story of another Christ-follower who allowed Christ to use him in a most unexpected location. You can read about this here.
Let’s talk about this! When has He sent someone to you, like He did my husband? How did that impact you? How did that experience impact your future witness? When has God turned an inconvenient or uncomfortable situation into an opportunity to show His grace? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.