I had dropped my 6 year old off at school and was headed home, when I had a fleeting thought that I should head straight up to Bunnings and buy the padlock that we needed for our new lane way gate.

“Odd” I thought, “I’m just around the corner from home” … and in my wisdom I kept driving towards home thinking I would pop back home first to collect a piece of plumbing pipe I had bought there the day before, which I needed to return … but as I checked my plan with God I sensed that “no, I was to go straight to Bunnings now” …

“Odd” I thought again and I drove straight past my home … figuring “what have I got to lose in listening and obeying as I go” … and I wondered who or what I would encounter at Bunnings when I got there …

I found a park, and headed straight into Bunnings, and as I did I saw a friend from church that worked there standing at the door giving directions to customers.  I smiled at P and said “Oh, you must be the reason I am here … a blessing for me to see you …” and I stood smiling at her as we had a brief chat before I headed off for my padlock purchase …

I found what I needed and as I headed to the check out to pay, P caught up to me and suggested I let her buy me a coffee …

I hesitated.  I had so much to do in the day.  I felt so ungracious … but I had an urgent case that I needed to attend to, workmen in my garden, a variety of jobs and a small amount of time to complete it all in … I was already behind my own agenda with this extra stop off for God …

She saw me hesitate and said “no pressure, I know you are so very busy …”

I smiled and said … “no, I’m just checking with the Holy Spirit to see what He says … I am very very busy, but He wants me to stop and have a coffee with you … so I will …thank you!” and I explained what I had on my plate and hence my hesitation, not wanting to offend or hurt her …

We chatted, and it was lovely … I felt blessed to stop for a moment and be with a friend …

With her break time up, we wandered back to the check out, me still to pay for my padlock and she walked back to her post at the door.  I stood and waited to pay for my purchase and as I did I looked at the woman serving me and knew I was to offer to pray …

I stopped after paying and said to her:

“This may sound strange, but I am a Christian and I have an overwhelming sense that I need to offer to pray for you … is there anything that I can pray for you for …?”

The woman looked at me, shook a little and teared up …

“Yes” she said … “there is something you can pray for me for … there is … but I …” and she trailed off …

I knew I was not to push for details, it was private and she was suddenly over whelmed …

I said “Its ok, no need to tell me, God knows the details I will bless you, He knows what you need … which is why He wanted me to ask you if you needed prayer … ”

She nodded and as she assented to me praying someone came up behind me to be served …

I stood back saying that I would wait … and as she finished serving that person … another one came for service … seemingly overlooking the other available checkout station … I stood and waited some more … and as she finished with that one … yet another came … and yet another again …

I stood waiting …

So often it  happens, I offer to pray and suddenly the check out isles  fill with customers … the teller is generally nervous with me waiting and so I know to wait looking relaxed, even if I don’t feel relaxed … and I tend to stand there feeling awkward … but I have learnt to be patient … that the time to pray will come, if I can stand my ground … and fulfil my assignment …

I quietly prayed for an opening, for the ebb of people to slow … and it came …

I walked back over, told her my name and she told me she was called “R”. I took her hand and I prayed.  I prayed a blessing, as I said I would, I prayed favour and I prayed wisdom in the pathways forward (I sensed she needed wisdom) … I prayed that God knew what her needs were and that He would meet them … and as I did, her eyes filled with tears …

There was no profound “knowing” or prophetic words that came to me that pierced her situation … just compassion that I had for her in whatever place she found herself in … she wished to remain private and I honoured that … as did God by not giving me any more insight than what I had, and I knew that me offering to pray, and her accepting the prayer, was enough for the Heavenly hosts to move on her behalf and release God’s goodness into her situation …

I finished, sensing I was to bless her with the Father’s blessing … I was to kiss her forehead … I told her that God was pleased with her, loved her, and she shook some more … and I asked if I could kiss her forehead …

She pulled back a little and shook her head, not daring to look at me, barely holding it together, and again I knew enough not to push  it … and instead I kissed my finger tips and gently placed them on her head and I thanked her for letting me pray.  As I walked away the  next customer came … and I saw her  wipe away some tears as she composed herself for the person she had to serve …

I walked past my friend P who could see what I was doing, who knew what I was doing … she had seen me do it before at Bunnings and in fact she has been doing this sort of thing for years in coffee shops and places she would visit …

I stopped by her side and suggested she watch out for R and we both looked over at R wiping away her tears …

I know that R is in good hands … P will watch out for her, as will God!

I left saying to God … “well that was an interesting morning … I saw a friend, had a tea, and had an encounter waiting for me …thank you” and I smiled at Him feeling my deep love for Him, and feeling His deep love for me … it had been a good morning …

I drove home knowing that had I rushed home instead of going to Bunnings for a padlock; had I not stopped for a cuppa I didn’t have time to stop for … I would have missed R, for she was not on the cashier when I was originally heading out … and P would have missed it to know to watch out for her …

I knew that had I not listened to God but listened to my own logic to collect the plumber’s piping that I needed to return that I may have been side tracked with workmen or other matters at home and I potentially would not have got up to Bunnings at all …

I knew that had I not stopped and listened to the fleeting idea; had I not recognised the fleeting idea as God’s idea, and not my own; had I not checked what God wanted me to do with my time that morning; had I not put my agenda on hold for God’s agenda … I would have definitely missed it … I would have missed seeing a friend, being blessed with a chat and a tea and I would have certainly missed being positioned to release God’s love into someone’s life …

Instead, I am so glad that I did listen, and through practice over time I have learnt to stop and check with God when such inconvenient or strange ideas pops into my head from seemingly nowhere … that sometimes those crazy ideas are not so crazy … but God ideas and that He is inviting us to co-labour with Him to work in the family business …

I have missed it so often … but through missing it and letting Holy Spirit speak to me in loving kindness, to teach and train me, I now miss less than I once did.  I had nothing to lose to follow the prompting I felt … and if I got it wrong, I knew my obedience would still please Him … My audience of One …  even if I was wrong I would have got the padlock that I needed.  So often He has us stop for the one as we go about our business … and because of this willingness to stop and to contemplate an idea that made no sense according to my agenda, I was given the privilege to pray for someone and to co-labour with the Creator of the Universe , and in so following God’s agenda rather than my own R now knows that God cares, God loves her and God is real … she had a real encounter to hold onto, she surely experienced a loving Father and this will show her that …

God is Good!

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