Today, it was just inside the entrance.
I hadn’t planned it that way. But You had, Lord… since before You created the earth. What an amazing thought! That something we might think is so “random” was planned out long ago by the One whose plans will not be thwarted.
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I had just entered the store in search of groceries. I was just inside the doors when I heard my name called. I turned around to see a precious brother-in-Christ. One I hadn’t seen in…two years?
He asked how I was. Lord, the only appropriate word was: “Awesome”!!! So I said it… with gusto! Then I asked how he was. His hesitation spoke volumes. I told him so.
That’s when he opened his heart to me. About burdens that were weighing him down. Burdens that had become increasingly heavy over time. They had reached the crushing point. And he was the “crushee.”
Suddenly another person came in the store and joyfully observed, “Is this the new preferred meeting place?” She was an old friend of my friend. Actually, I had just met her today in church!
🙂 (There You go again, Lord!) 🙂
He turned to her and began to share the same burdens. Asking for prayer. I knew what was coming. You had taught me this long ago. I took both of their hands and said, “There is no time like the present to pray. We need to start now.”
So we did.
Just inside the front entrance of Publix. In the midst of everyone entering and exiting the store. Gathered together, holding hands. My voice low so no one could overhear. But You heard me, Lord. And we knew it.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have received what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
We left there differently than we had arrived. We all felt Your Presence. We all felt Your Peace, even though my friend’s burdens remain unresolved. We all had a sense of anticipation about what we believe You are doing to do. We all had a deeper resolve to drop everything more often so we can pray.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:15-16)
In Publix. In our favorite restaurant. In our homes. On the street. In Walmart… Where my next impromptu prayer altar was established later this very afternoon. AMAZING!!!!
Funny. We had gone to the store to fill up on groceries. We were filled up before we picked out grocery #1. Feasting on the Bread of Life, washed down with Living Water!
Still on Cloud Nine,