It happened again: The fast heartbeat that I couldn’t ignore and the still small voice inside my head that wouldn’t stop whispering to me. I tried to dismiss it and talk myself out of it – surely God had someone more equipped to do this particular job.
I needed to go by the Christian book store to pick up a book. It wasn’t convenient, and I didn’t really feel like stopping there. I had a lot to do that day and this was a little bit out of the way, but for some reason my car headed in that direction.
I went into the store to try to find my resource and be on my way. The store was quite disorganized and it became evident that I wouldn’t be able to find what I needed quickly. I would learn later that the store had been without a manager for several months and the two ladies behind the counter were struggling with how to manage things. I made my way up to the counter to ask for help and the salesperson took me back to the very shelf I had just stood at. On the second look, though, I was able to locate the book I needed. I followed her to the counter and she began to ask me several questions about the book I was purchasing.
I told her that the book was for a bible study that I was co-leading. Immediately, she began to tell me about her life and what she was going through. She mentioned that she had just broken off a bad relationship, had gotten a purity ring to reminder herself of her commitment, and was looking for a bible study to join. She asked about where I went to church and how to keep growing in her faith. I was so excited to see her hunger for the things of God! She asked me for advice about how to get stronger in the Lord and to continue on the right path.
Our conversation was interrupted when her boss called her over to deal with a problem with the computer they were having. As quickly as the door had opened for me to share with her, it began to close. I told her that I would pray for her on her spiritual journey and headed to the door. As I left, the Holy Spirit began talking to me. “Don’t leave without praying WITH her IN person.”
This was the second time that God had so strongly asked me to pray with a stranger in public. I had done this before, so I knew whose voice I was hearing. At this moment, I had a choice to make.
I tried to plead with God that I didn’t really need to go back in and bother the ladies behind the counter. I had already said enough. But when the Lord is prompting us to do something, HE wants obedience from us – not talking back. So, I headed back into the store. I realized that I had to obey. God had given me a divine appointment on this normal weekday afternoon. There had been a reason for me to be at this place at this time.
I went back, and with the Lord’s help, I prayed with them.
God puts us in places each day at specific times with appointed people around us that HE wants us to influence. He prompts our hearts to do something or say something in these seemingly every day moments of life. We have a choice to make. Will we obey or not?
I haven’t been back to that store. I don’t know how things are going for this woman, but God knows and I trust that He has used that act of obedience for things I can’t even imagine.
“The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we’re going?” Proverbs 20:24