A few weeks ago while in Denver, I was overjoyed to find that a few of the stores that I have been missing in the Northwest were located within 15 minutes of where I was staying. Quickly it became a mission! Shopping. Woman on a mission- need I say more? Oh yes, my husband was hunting. A girl has to do what a girl has to do!
The one store that I really wanted to go to- the Christian bookstore made it to the bottom of my list my first shopping trip- I was distracted by the pet store (every single time.) Those of you that know Chloe know that she is my BFFF (best furry friend forever.) I am obsessed with loving this little 3 ½ pound yorkie princess. No surprise that I came out with a bag of goodies for her first birthday. Headed to the bookstore…oh no, there right in front of me was the cosmetics store! Sensory overload. The car just drove there.
When I left it was dark and I was in an unfamiliar territory so I opted to head for my temporary home. I guess a second shopping trip was in order. I can think of worse things.
I could not help but to think about how my priorities had gotten a little switched around. I essentially traded out the Christian bookstore for other more pressing matters. How often do we put our God time on the back burner for our own selfish desires?
I finally made it to the bookstore several days later. It seems this was the day I was supposed to go. I do not know why I continue to be in awe of God’s wonder. There looking for a book that had made it to my must read list, a woman was on the same aisle as me talking on her cell when all of the sudden she broke down sobbing. I tried not to listen as I did not want to be nosey but I was concerned. She was obviously hurting. When she hung up, she walked toward me to apologize. I told her there was no need and asked if she was ok. She went on to tell me that her sister’s husband had passed away unexpectedly two weeks earlier. She had offered to accompany her sister to take care of the red tape part of losing a loved one but her sister was remaining strong and felt she could handle it on her own. It seemed her sister was suddenly hit with reality and had broken down at the social security office and this dear woman was overcome with guilt and compassion. I hugged her. I told her that I would be praying for them. BUT as soon as I said it, a small voice inside me said “No not good enough! Ask for names!” I asked her name and she proceeded to tell me not only her name but that of her sister and the sister’s deceased husband as well. Suddenly, all I could do was recite – Adele, Lorraine and Jeff over and over again in an effort not to forget. I prayed throughout the store. When I saw her as I left, she smiled and thanked me. I have prayed for them numerous times since.
1 Samuel 12:23 has ran through my mind so many times since. “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. “ At some point, I had hidden those words in my heart and here they were guiding me and instructing me.
Something inside me made me postpone my planned shopping trip to the bookstore. I did not beat myself up about it but decided to go another day. I felt the strong desire to go another day, this day– even though I was sick and threw up the entire way home. I felt the overwhelming compelling urge to go. It would seem that someone at that store at that time on that day needed me. I told her that I would pray CASUALLY. I was in listening mode so I heard God tell me “NO- DO IT THIS WAY.” I had stored God’s word in my heart at an earlier time and there it was when God needed to instruct me in his ways.
This may all seem very simple and maybe you do not need the reminder but I figure if I did perhaps someone else might too. Take time for detours. Listen to your heart. It just might be call from God. He does still speak to us and when we are open to serve Him, He will use us. When He does use us, smile and be humble. It is not about us but rather Him. It is His gift to us, not ours to Him. Most importantly, study His word. Study in times of calm so His words will be stored in your heart for the storms of life.
Until next time,