If we will be about the Father’s business, we will find His agenda is always good. There is ease, joy and serendipity moments. His timing is impeccable, and His heart for the one beyond measure.

Simply put, God is good!

I dropped my 6-year-old off at school headed home. As I drove, I had a fleeting thought that I should head straight to our local hardware store to purchase a padlock we needed for our new gate.

‘Odd,’ I thought. ‘I’m just around the corner from home.’

In my wisdom, I kept driving towards home, thinking I would pop back home first to collect an item I had bought there the day before, which I needed to return. But, as I checked my plan with God, I sensed Him say,

‘No, go straight to there now.’

‘Odd,’ I thought again, and drove straight past my home, figuring

‘What have I got to lose in listening and obeying as I go?’

I wondered who, or what I would encounter at Bunnings when I got there, as I went about the Father’s business.

I found a park and headed straight into the store. As I did, I saw a friend from church that worked there, standing at the door to give directions to customers.

‘Oh, you must be the reason I am here – you’re 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 checkout to pay my friend me and suggested I let her buy me a coffee.

I hesitated. There was so much to do in the day. I felt ungracious about hesitating, but I had an urgent legal case that needed attention; tradespeople were in my garden; a there was a variety of jobs to be done; and a small amount of time to complete it all.

I was already behind my agenda with this extra stop off for God.

She saw me hesitate and said,

‘No pressure. I know you are so very busy.’

‘No, I’m just checking with the Holy Spirit to see what He says. I am very busy, but He wants me to stop and have a coffee with you, so I will. Thank you!’

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 checkout. I still needed to pay for my padlock. She walked back to her post at the door, and I stood waiting to pay. As I did, I looked at the woman serving me, and instantly knew I needed to offer to pray.

I stopped after paying and said to her,

‘This might 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 became teary.

‘Yes,’ she said. ‘There is something you can pray for me for, there is… but I …’

She trailed off.

I knew not to push for details. It was private, and she clearly felt suddenly overwhelmed.

‘It’s 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, but as she assented to prayer, someone came up behind me to be served.

I stood back.

‘I’ll wait,’ I assured her.

As she finished serving that person, another one came for service, overlooking the other available checkout station.

I stood and waited some more. She finished with that one and yet another came, and another again.

I stood waiting.

It often happens. I will offer to pray and suddenly the check out isles fill with customers. The teller can be nervous that I need to wait, and so I know to stand, looking relaxed, even if I don’t feel relaxed. In reality, I often stand, feeling awkward. But, with experience, I have learnt to be patient, knowing the time to pray will come.

If I can stand my ground, I will fulfil my assignment.

I quietly prayed for an opening, for the ebb of people to slow.

It came.

I walked back over.

‘My name is Beth.’

She told me hers and I took her hand and I prayed. As I had promised, I prayed for a blessing. I also prayed for favour and wisdom in the pathways forward. God knew her needs, so I thanked Him He would meet them.

As I did, her eyes filled with tears.

While I knew she needed wisdom, I had no no profound ‘knowing’ or prophetic words that came to me that pierced her situation. I simply had compassion for her. She wanted to remain private, and I honoured that.

Since God did not give me any more insight than what I had, I knew that offering to pray, and her accepting the prayer, was enough for the Heavenly hosts to move on her behalf. God’s goodness would flow into her situation.

I finished, sensing I was to bless her with the Father’s blessing. I knew I meant to kiss her forehead.

I explained God was pleased, and that He loved her. 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. She could barely hold it together.

Again, I knew enough not to push it, and instead I kissed my fingertips and gently placed them on her head. I thanked her for letting me pray.

As I walked away, the next customer came. I saw her wipe away some tears as she composed herself for the person she had to serve.

The entire time, my friend watched what I was doing. She saw I was about the Father’s business. She had seen me do it before, and in fact, she had also 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 the girl, and we both looked over as the woman wiped away more tears.

I knew the woman was in excellent hands. My friend 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, an encounter was waiting for me. Thank you.’

I smiled at Him, feeling my deep love for Him, and feeling His deep love for me.

It had been a good morning. I had been about the Father’s business; I had bought the padlock, had a lovely coffee. There was a blessing for me in the entire process.

I drove home knowing that had I rushed home instead of going to the hardware store for a padlock; had I not stopped for a cuppa I didn’t have time for, I would have missed her, for she was not serving when I was originally heading out. My friend would also have missed it and would therefore not have known to watch out for her.

I knew had I not listened to God, but listened to my logic to collect the plumber’s piping, something may have sidetracked me – the workpeople or other matters at home. I might not have gone 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; 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 and I would have certainly missed being positioned to release God’s love in to someone’s life.

Instead, I am so glad that I listened, 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 nowhere. Sometimes those crazy ideas are not so crazy. Rather, they are God’s ideas and 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 the 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, even if I got it wrong. Regardless, I knew my obedience would please Him, for He is my audience of One.

So often, He has us stop for the one as we go about our business. We can go about our day, and if we will lean in, we can simultaneously be about the Father’s business, too.

Because of my willingness to stop and to contemplate an idea that made no sense according to my agenda, God gave me the privilege of praying for someone to co-labour with Him, the Creator of the Universe. In following God’s agenda, in being about the Father’s business, rather than my own, a woman now knows that God cares, He loves her, and He is real. She had a genuine encounter to hold on to. She experienced a loving Father, and this will show her forevermore that…

God is Good!

“Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

Luke 2:49

© Beth Kennedy 2022

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