Treasures in Darkness… Christmas Shopping with Jesus

©Ron Dauphin on Unsplash
©Ron Dauphin on Unsplash

We had a few hours on a Saturday to do child free Christmas shopping before going to a movie. With our list in hand, we did not know that Jesus had His own Christmas shopping list for us to do too…!

I was in the ‘ladies’ when I found the first on His list. God told me to pray for someone outside my cubicle. Side note: Yes, He talks to me everywhere.

‘She has been a great blessing to others for many, many years, I want you to bless her’.

As I washed my hands, I looked at ‘her’ in the mirror.

She was an elderly woman waiting for her granddaughter. I introduced myself and stated that that I believed she had been a great blessing to many people over the years. I then asked if I could pray a blessing over her. She looked surprised but agreed.

Her name was Joy.

She was the second Joy I had prayed for that week and I mentally noted the ‘coincidence.’

I blessed Joy knowing that she knew Joy and was familiar with the Joy of God. She teared up a little as I prayed and blessed her, and once done, she asked if I would also pray for her granddaughter. I agreed and prayed and prophesied over her granddaughter, declaring her destiny would open and unfold, that she was a pillar and a leader in the coming move of God, which I believed would be a move that came through the youth in power. Joy excitedly said she had been praying for revival for years…

My husband had been waiting patiently outside. He knew what was going on inside because people were coming out from the bathroom saying in amazement that there was “someone praying in there for people…” and pointing back to the door. Andrew knew what I was up to and laughed. I hadn’t thought about that sort of impact, but it was quite funny…

Jesus assignment done, we got a coffee and discussed our shopping…

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As we waited for our coffees, I popped into another store to “bag” our first item. C served me, and yes, God had me pray for her. C was a young girl (about 16) who “felt” the anointing as I prayed. I prophesied she would discover who she was and why she was in the next two years. She had said she did not know, but my gosh, she was a marvellous girl!. I headed off with my purchase and sat with my husband to finish our coffee…

I felt I had done my dash, and we headed off to a sporting store. We purchased nothing, but on our way out I walked past a very disabled girl with her parents. Strapped into her wheelchair, her arms and legs fastened down. The girl’s body was small, deformed, and she displayed no control over her head movements. I felt God’s strong desire for me to pray, but I was so intimidated by the severity of her condition. I internally argued with God as we walked away from the store, but ultimately said:

‘Ok, for You, I’m willing to do it…’ and I went back to search the shop.

I found the girl with her parents waiting at the checkout. The intensity of my nerves made it an extreme fight to approach them. I fought the extreme urge to walk away, knowing that God really wanted me to ask if I could pray for her…

Stopping in front of her chair, I asked her parents if I could pray. I desperately did not want them to feel that I felt sorry for them, but I also wanted them to know that I cared. They agreed, so I knelt and addressed their daughter, who could not talk at all.

She was dribbling and had an angry-looking rash on her face from the dampness of her dribble. Her hands were unformed, and her body was tiny. I knelt and taking her hand in mine, and I quietly introduced myself. Her parents looked weary and watched on as I prayed, and her father leant in to listen.

As I prayed, she locked her gaze on mine. believe she could clearly feel God as I prayed for her. The frantic movements slowed, and she held onto my gaze several times. I prayed for her parents too and asked God to provide solutions.

Leaving the store, I thanked the girl and parents for stopping and allowing me to pray for them. I felt wobbly and said to Andrew it must be nerves; instead he encouraged me, suggesting it was the intensity of anointing…

©Janko Ferlic on unsplash

“Ok” I thought, “big one down”, shake, shake, shake, “gosh, ok, deep breath” shake, shake, shake…

I slowly settled down as we walked through Big W, fighting the negative thoughts, the accusations of failure and the residual impact of the nerves.

As the legs stopped shaking, I could focus on our task at hand. Andrew encouraging me all the way, we successfully made further purchases.

As we left God prompted me to pray for the cashier who said to me ‘I am not a Christian’ to which I said something like ‘that doesn’t matter, I can still bless you’ which I promptly did, placing my hand on his elbow as I spoke peace over him for this season of business.

It was time for our movie, so we headed toward the theatre. To our surprise, we had calmly and easily done all our shopping.

I felt quite successful, having bagged all that we had, and I waited while Andrew put our purchases into the car. As I stood, I tried to ignore a young girl in a wheelchair. I had noticed her out of the corner of my eye. I calmly ignored the very brief, quiet prompting, preferring to hear the louder “no” that came very much on top of the whispered ‘pray for her’. The prompt was so subtle, and I wanted to get to our movie on time, so I tried to ignore her, and I literally turned my back.

I stood and argued internally, but it was no good; I knew I had to stop for this one too.

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Walking over to the girl’s mother, I introduced myself, asked what her daughter had done and if I could pray. The Mum’s name was ‘A’ and was also with her teenage son, who looked like he had down syndrome, but who we later found out had autism. She looked back at me and immediately said yes, that would be great.

I knelt by the young girl (she was 14 years old) and she told me a brick wall had fallen on her, crushing and breaking one leg. The damage included the growth plate, so they had to do the same with the other leg in order that the legs would grow at the same rate.

I placed my hands on her legs (after she also gave me permission) and I prayed. She felt heat. I continued to pray and prophesy, while her friends stood by our side, politely not looking.

I asked her if she had asked Jesus into her heart. She said she had, but on a prompt I said ‘let’s do it again’ and so in response she asked Jesus into her heart. I suggested she ask that He fill her up, so she did. I continued to pray and when she said “enough” (a boundary we had agreed upon before I prayed) I thanked her and looked at her mother who then thanked me.

I thought I was going to go into the movie theatre after this and time was ticking along. We had not been to a movie for years by ourselves, so it was a real treat. However, I felt to pray for her brother and so turning to the mother I asked if I could pray for him too. She again readily agreed.

The boy called “B” was 16 years old. He swayed heavily under the anointing, and I motioned to Andrew, who quickly steadied him. He was incredibly ‘open’ to God’s presence.

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I felt to suggest he say, ‘Jesus, come into my heart’

He did.

I then felt to suggest to him, ‘say Jesus fill me up,’

B said ‘Jesus fill me up’, and on saying it he kept saying it, over and over, laughing and swaying heavily under the anointing.

I finished and turned to the mother, knowing I had to pray for her too.

‘Well, this is more important than being on time for the movie,’ I thought and I offered to pray.

She agreed.

As I prayed for the mother, the compassion of God came upon me and I nearly cried. She looked like she did too. I received words of knowledge about her–she was struggling (that was obviously a possibility given her two kids) she was making major decisions, and she was a single Mum.

She told me she had 3 children and had told my husband prior to me praying that she had found the recent challenges with her daughter’s injury tough. I prayed, and she quietly received; she was so very thirsty for God and drank Him in, and as I finished praying for her, I placed my arms around her and held her close for a long, long time.

I went to release my hug, but she hung on, so I hugged her some more and when I felt it was enough, I again tried to disengage, but she again hung on again. So, I continued to hold her, yet feeling quite embarrassed by now. Again I went to release her, but she continued to hang onto me quietly. I tried again, and she hung on again… so I just stood in the middle of the busy shopping centre and let her drink and cling to me for what seemed an eternity…

I gave her our church card, and I wrote my private number on it so she could call me if she felt she wanted.

As we walked away my husband said to me he believed we were there, not so much for the daughter, but for the Mother, who had been through such a tough time, for Jesus says:

‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow from within him.’ John 7:38-39

We saw our movie, but we missed the promos. This did not bother us at all. We even had time to go to the bathroom and settle in before the movie started. God had it all timed beautifully and I am so glad that I did not rush because He had treasures in the darkness to give…

 

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This is what the Lord says to his anointed…

‘I will go before you and will level the mountains;

I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you the treasures of darkness,

riches stored in secret places,

so that you may know that I am the Lord,

the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:2-3 NIV

Every person I encountered was a treasure in the darkness, waiting to be discovered. Each was a treasure set out for me to discover, to find, to uncover and my footsteps ordered by a loving and knowing God. He not only blessed us with the miracle of a great time together, Christmas shopping in the Christmas rush, but He also entrusted 10 people that all needed a touch from their mighty and loving God. Ten people altered for ever more. He left those treasures out for me to find because …

God is Good.

Post Script: The shopping day was a Saturday, a few years ago now. I wrote the story up on a Tuesday, and just as I finished writing the mum rang me with the following report:

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©Freestocks on unsplash
  1. Her daughter stood without crutches on the Sunday;
  2. Her son lost his aggression and was much calmer. There was a change in his eyes, and they looked ‘more alert.’ He had stopped asking about his father who left the family earlier that and she said the ‘worry has lifted from his face’, he is ‘much calmer’. She told me he continues to say ‘Jesus fill me up’ and is laying hands on his mother and family friends and asking ‘can you feel that?’ and she can;
  3. The mum (A) felt much more at peace (in her home and in herself). The night before meeting us she was suicidal, and when she saw us across the shops, she stood willing us to come over. She said there was a light around both Andrew and I that she saw and wanted to be near. From that afternoon A cared for herself properly, eating 3 meals a day, and was feeling at peace.
  4. A told me she had thought about the encounter every day. She believed it was not a coincidence that we met. Just before she met us she had looked for a car park and just knew that she would find one on the middle level (where she met us) at about 1.30pm, just in time to meet us after getting her daughter out of the car with the wheelchair. She said that she had told her daughter that there would be a car park for them in that place, and there was a reason for the delay in finding one.

During our discussion on the telephone, A gave her heart to Christ. We talked at length and she shared some of her story with me. She also asked for and received the gift of tongues, feeling a ‘tingling up and down her legs’ as we prayed. She also felt the tingles over her head, as she had done earlier. Her ‘spirit spot’ burned lightly as we talked and prayed.

Post Post Script:
I kept in contact with A over Christmas and eventually arranged a coffee at my home in mid-January.

The bell rang, and on answering the door A was with her daughter who was standing. Her daughter’s name also begins with A so I will call her Little A. I stood looking at Little A and they both laughed at my shock. Little A was walking, without leg braces, without a wheelchair and without a walking stick.

After my initial shock, they came into my home where I heard the story.

©Julia Raasch unsplash

Little A had stood for the first time unaided the day after I had prayed for her. She had been told on 6th January by her physiotherapist that she would need the wheelchair, leg braces and a crutch for another 6 weeks. Yet, she was walking completely unaided on 18th January… 12 days later! At the six week mark she was back training with cadets.

Apparently she had been walking not long after being prayed for. They had gone on holidays after Christmas at a caravan park in Phillip Island. They took the wheelchair, but had not used it, and she had been walking unaided since.

So, here she was, walking well, on Wednesday 18th January, having had two broken legs and having been told she would need a wheelchair, leg braces and a walking stick for at least another 6 weeks on 6th January…!

On this visit, Little A explained that she still needed more strength in her legs. I laid hands on her legs and called strength into her thigh muscles and as I did her mother, my daughter and I noticed her knee caps moving up and down with no input from her, as if her thigh muscles were being contracted and released. She did not feel it, it just happened.

She stood and tried them out and I prayed again, and it happened again…

Her Mother and I concluded her thigh muscles must have been being strengthened supernaturally. It was the oddest thing to watch her knee caps bobbing up and down in a rapid movement!

After we finished praying and we went for a walk during which I heard more of her story.

Apparently A’s family transformed. Her son was no longer violent, she was walking in abundant favour, disputes settled supernaturally, with no effort on her part. She shared how she had told a friend who was also in a place of despair how she too could be free-she was ready to give what she had received away to others!

A said the entire journey had been remarkable, the turnaround, marvellous…

I just listened in awe, knowing that it was all a miracle, and I noted that I nearly did not stop for them because I wanted to get to the movies on time…

I wondered how many others I had simply walked past… 

How many others may have had a life transformed… had I stopped for the one…  

I am certain that there is no condemnation in Christ, but how His heart yearns for us to recognise and to step into who we truly are, to co-labour with Him in the family business.

… all creation groans…

©Clay Banks on Unsplash

Will we be bold enough to step into our inheritance and bring others with us?

Dare we to lay claim to the “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” (Is45:3) and set them free?

Dare we take people by the hand and say “come”?

God is breath taking in His beauty, in His kindness, in His Glory!

Dare we?

I know I must for…

God IS Good!

Calling in a creative miracle because God is capable and God is Good!

We had a pair of jazz ballet shoes to purchase.  We knew where we needed to go, had the time on Saturday afternoon, but we had felt God say “do it tomorrow on the way home from church”, and so, with adequate time to stop after church, before the start of a play date, we popped into Chadstone to “bag” the shoes and go on …

We stopped briefly to buy a treat … an ice-cream for my son and myself, and 2 oversized chocolate freckles for the play date my daughter was going on (my husband honourably abstained).  As we left the shopping centre, me sharing my ice cream with my five-year old son, who had decided he preferred my chocolate one to his rainbow one, I saw a young man in a wheel chair and I got that familiar prompting to stop and offer to pray …

I caught my husband’s eye who instantly knew what I was about to do and he disappeared with the kids, a relief for me since I normally stop with children by my side.

I gently approached the young man in the wheel chair and opened up a conversation with something like “Hi … I can see you are in a wheel chair … something really tough must have happened to you …” not smooth, but effective …

As I spoke he motioned to me that he was actually missing a leg (which I had not realised) and I thought “oh my gosh!” I had thought he was in a wheel chair needing a healing miracle, not that he was in a wheel chair needing a creative miracle …

He motioned to the lack of leg and I quickly tried to recover my cool, calm, collected stance … and as I did he explained that his right arm no longer worked either … and that if it did he could use crutches …

Great”, I thought … “I have really got myself in the deep end!” and, after a deep breath, I proceeded to introduce myself and explain why I had stopped.  I shared with him that our church, Stairway, had been prophesied over and told that we would see creative miracles like legs grow, and that I wanted to know whether he would permit me to pray for that and for the healing of his arm … explaining that God had highlighted him to me to stop …

He readily agreed, placing his hot meat pie down, and he told me his name was Mark …

I placed my hand on his left shoulder and, as my five-year old son ran up and away with tongue out to swipe licks on my now melting chocolate ice cream, I invited the Holy Spirit to come, and I released healing over him in the name of Jesus.  I then prayed in line with God’s Word over our church and asked God to create a new leg, ignoring the screaming thoughts in my head that were saying “you are mad you are mad” … and I reminded God of His word and asked Him to perform a creative miracle for Mark in the name of Jesus …

I then walked around him and placed my hand on his right shoulder and I again released healing in the name of Jesus and I commanded his right arm to be healed.  As I did I started to receive words of knowledge of what needed healing, to make the arm whole, and I “knew” that the injury had been as a result of a trauma, an accident …

I told the sinews to knit, the muscles to function, the nerves to heal and for a few other things that came to mind as I prayed and I asked for the oil of the Holy Spirit to be released and flow through his arm.  As I prayed in faith the words and commands I felt I “heard” he nodded in agreement and I felt that somehow I was hitting the mark with the prayers, that they were words of knowledge from God, words indicating what healing was required to have his arm function again … I felt they were words being released to give him faith that God knew and cared for him … for I surely could not have known in the natural, for he had not told me and I am not medically trained in any way …

I then called for “redemption”.  I felt so very strongly that God’s word for him was “redemption”, that God would “redeem” him … all he had lost … His eyes grew moist and he was visibly moved …

My son continued to run up cheekily licking my ice cream …

On this particular occasion I felt to give Mark my mobile (cell phone) number and my husband and my first names … I also gave him the details of church services and times and he asked whether there was wheel chair access, to which I said there was …

I mentioned a few testimonies of healing and told how God’s healing can come as a seed, which grows, and I encouraged him to thank God for any improvement … and to come for more prayer if he felt so inclined.  I then shared about how a man who was in a wheelchair and who was unable to move his legs had started to move his legs the week before at our church’s evening service and I encouraged him to come …

I then felt I needed to give him a kiss, and so I asked if I could.  He agreed,  and so I kissed him on the cheek, and thanked him for allowing me to stop and pray, for interrupting his day …

I wanted to fix it for Mark … I wanted to make things right … but it was beyond my power to do so … all I could do was stop and offer God’s word … or rather offer God’s Word:

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10 (NASB 1995)

Our church has a promise from God in the form of a prophetic word that creative miracles will be seen, will be released … it’s the testimony of Jesus … it’s the promise of Jesus …

I feel that he was greatly touched that someone cared enough to stop and pray …

I feel that He was impacted by God in how God showed me the needs of his heart and the requirements of healing in his arm …

I feel he was touched that someone offered an answer …

I know he felt God … I trust he received hope … we cannot stop and pray and not cause change to occur … prayer releases something … something grand … and as we stop for the one and offer them The One they will each taste and see that …

God is Good!

Pulling back and stepping over…either way…God is Good!

I had collected my 5 year-old son from kindy, and felt to pop up to the local shopping centre for a coffee and a donut … a regular “treat” for the two of us …

I had originally thought we were heading straight home (I was tired), but on sensing the prompting of God to go the shops I said to my son “do you get S’land or home? … ask God” …

My son knows how to “play the game” and he piped up from the back seat “S’land.”

So I said, “do you get DJ’s or M?” (sensing to park at the Myer end of the shopping centre) and he instantly responded “M … what does that mean Mum?” and as I steered the car in the direction of S’land I explained where we were going and what “M” meant …

We found a park, and to be completely honest, I hoped that the trip was just a “treat” for the two of us, as opposed to an “assignment”, but as we walked into the centre I saw a man in a wheel chair and felt that familiar prompting from God …

I ignored it – I told you I am willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly and I am human.  I did not want to  stop, I just wanted a treat with my boy, I was stressed (or so I had been told by my GP the day before and my GP must know … pathetic reasoning, but I am being honest) …

I walked on, feeling sad and I said “sorry” to God … knowing I was loved by Him all the same, but feeling sad at my own response.  There was no self-condemnation, well, not for long anyway, but there was a sense of sadness … God’s sadness, and my own sense of sadness at my own response and I intentionally spoke to myself, bringing to mind my own testimonies of a Good God who had seen me through time and time again when I had stopped for “the one” …

Regardless of my choices my little boy and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, and as we wandered through the centre to leave we walked past another wheelchair … well, it was not a “wheelchair” per se, but a person in a wheelchair, for those that are in “the wheelchair” are people … loved by a Good God … people He wants to touch!

I noted the gentle prompting, as I walked past …

My little boy looked up at me and said: “there’s a wheelchair mummy…”.

From the mouths of babes …

I looked at him and said “should we pray for him? you ask God” … he got a “no” but I looked back at the man and knew, and I knew that my boy knew too … so I said “Come on …”.

We approached the man, said “hello”, and I explained what had happened, quickly repeating a testimony of broken legs being healed and I asked if I could pray for him.

He said “you will have to be quick because my wife is in the toilets …” and with that I introduced myself and my son and asked what the problem was.

His name was Dave.  He had muscular dystrophy …

“incurable” he said …

“But for a miracle” I said  “so we will pray for a miracle” … and I held his hand and prayed …

I felt the anointing come.  I prayed for a few moments, felt the release and finished up and I repeated the testimony of A’s healing pointing out how her healing came over two weeks.  I thanked him for allowing me to pray, and he thanked me and as I turned and walked away with my son … I was faced with another wheelchair …

My boy looked and said “maybe we should pray for him too” … and I thought to myself “maybe we should …”

I wish I could say I did …

I didn’t …

There are times when it can be all too much, and yes I agree,  in those times we need to push back and walk through to the promise … I know that in the times we feel we have nothing to give … then God (see when my barrel was empty…then God for a link to such a story).

God was inviting me into something today … I answered just once …

We are always free to choose and, as a beautiful friend said to me on the phone that afternoon, “we are not Jesus … we are being transformed” but she also went on to say “… that of course, that does not excuse us from not walking as Jesus did…” and in doing so she called me to the standard …. she was calling me to be who I am in Christ

Yes, we are all human … we are not Jesus … but we are all called to be like Him, to believe Him when he says …

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) (emphasis added)

I believe God invites us into encounters, invites us to co-labour with Him to achieve His purposes, for the world, for others, for the one, but also for us … I believe every time we say “yes” He celebrates, I am sure I feel the joy of the Father every time I say “yes” … and each time we do we step more deeply into our identity in Him … it’s a “win-win” … the world gets touched, and we get transformed!

I know that he loves us, regardless of whether we say “yes Lord” as the young Samuel did in 1 Samuel 3.  However, I do feel the Father’s delight when I choose to step in and up.  As I do, I reach further into the promises of God for my own life … and for the life of those around me … and as I do I connect with a loving Father’s heart, for me and for the one, and that heart is full of splendour and glory for …

God is Good!