Sometimes we have nothing left in the tank. The sense of tiredness is real. Self care is essential, so as you read, balance the message with permission to rest.
We reach into the empty barrel believing we have nothing to give; only to find an abundant flow.
I was at kindy pick up for my 3-year-old son when I saw a mum who I had prayed for previously at a play date. She had asked why I was fasting. I explained Australia was in revival and a mighty move of God was afoot across our wonderful nation. As we spoke, she shared some of her private and very painful history, after which I prayed for her. While I prayed, she felt electricity running up her arms, and she cried, feeling His presence course through her body. She had encountered a good and loving God.
On this day, she looked tired. I asked her about this, and the tears flowed. I gently placed my hand on her shoulder and prayed, releasing peace and rest. She reported her sleep was ok, but she was not feeling refreshed from her sleep. I prayed again, asking that one hour of sleep would be as four. I hugged her, nearly crying myself, and said to call if she wanted prayer again.
With said 3-year-old in tow, I planned to head home. Instead, I ‘knew’ I needed to go to a local shopping district. It was close to Christmas, so shopping was not what I felt like doing. However, hearing the nudge, I headed to the store I felt compelled to visit.
Uncertain why I was there, I looked. Feeling exhausted, I did not believe I had anything to give.
My barrel was empty.
Wandering about, I feigned interest. I noticed a woman with a brace on her wrist.
‘Person found,’ I thought.
I approached her and asked about the brace.
She had torn tendons in her wrist and thumb, so I offered to pray. She agreed and as I prayed she felt tingles, which continued long after I finished and she completed her shopping.
I turned towards God once more, knowing I had not completed the task. I felt tired, so I argued a little, but ultimately decided I would stay.
I could not shake the feeling I had not found who or what I was there for.
A woman had watched me closely as I prayed. I was aware of her, but I had ignored the feeling. I felt her watching me again and wondered if she was stalking me through the store.
Crossing her path, I smiled and turned to pass politely, but she suddenly stepped forward to speak.
Earnestly she said she felt stressed. She explained the stress was because she was hosting her son’s wedding reception at her home, followed closely by Christmas.
I agreed that would be stressful.
‘Thank you,’ she said.
The exchange puzzled me. Perhaps she needed to be seen.
I wandered on with my son, but there she was again…
I was sure she was intentionally placing herself in my path.
She engaged me in further conversation.
Tired, I did not want to chat. Small talk is a gift, a gift I do not posses. I have to work at it.
I stopped the sour grapes and simply threw caution to the wind. I offered to pray.
Excited, she readily agreed. She said she saw me on the other side of the store, praying for the other woman.
‘Ah, she had been watching me,’ I thought, ‘and she wanted prayer.’
Her name was Joy, so I prayed for Joy. I prayed for Joy to be released into her destiny; for joy (the Spirit of Joy) to come upon and within her; for Joy to receive ‘joy’; and for Joy to be Joy and all that entailed. In fact, it was the season for JOY!
I also prayed for the other circumstances she had shared.
As I prayed, I looked at her.
‘You can feel that, can’t you?’
She nodded, close to tears.
When I finished, she stared at me and asked if I knew some Christians on her street in a nearby suburb.
‘Oh no, here we go,’ I thought, but then she told me their names.
They were my pastors!
She said I was just like them – she told me she had been watching them.
‘… and now she had been watching me too,’ I thought wryly.
It was clear in that moment God was on her case. It was not a coincidence I was in that store. I was there for no apparent reason other than a hunch. My pastors’ witness impacted her. She was the one God had set His heart upon and sent me. She had a hunger to encounter the God my pastors knew; the God I knew; the God she wanted to know too- the one we all called ‘Lord,’ the one we all called Jesus.
I was there for her!
I explained I had not known why I had come to the shop. Yet, it was now apparent to me I had come for her.
It was apparent that God was on her case.
I wished her well and finished up in the shop.
My barrel was empty today-but God.
Life is busy at Christmas time. Children are excited, their behaviour can challenge. People make demands; others can be unkind. We can feel our barrel is empty and we have nothing to give.
However, God’s barrel is never empty. Despite me and my circumstances, as I reached into my empty barrel, God came through and touched three women – all in the space of an hour. Each woman needed a touch of God; all for different reasons.
As long as I will stop for the one, regardless of how I feel, regardless of me, my God will move to touch a hurting world.
Today I saw His arm long enough to embrace others through me; His grace sufficient for my needs to be met and His desires fulfilled. My barrel may feel dry, but His barrel is always full – His power is ever present.
Despite me, wine will always flow.
Since this day I have discovered people are watching. I know if they watch for long enough I will disappoint them because I am mere human; but if they will see through me to Him… that will not disappoint.
I have prayed for many who have yearned for a touch from God. There have been many such occasions. In my daughter’s school, a young teacher cried when I offered to pray. She explained she had been waiting, hoping for prayer. This shocked me, because I always felt so awkward in offering. But here was a woman desperate for the moment God saw her heart’s cry. Through her tears she said she thought she was going to miss out; I assured her God saw and loved her- she would never miss out.
We may think we are at the bottom of our barrel, there is nothing more to give. But, in the empty barrel, there is always more.
God gave me kisses on Thursday. I had been flat, I needed encouragement.
He is the God who sees…
The next day, I saw a great friend. You know the type: encouraging, positive, loves your quirkiness and knows you well enough to brush the dirt away gently to reveal the gold while calling you higher. Community matters!
Home again, I sorted daughter responsibilities, and felt to take our dog for a quick walk. Her life long buddy died recently, and she is more needy these days.
As I walked I thought about two random moments from years ago. Both these moments involved drunk guys. Andrew had stopped for them. One was a homeless man whom Andrew took shopping – he had cried tears in delight as Andrew ‘just happened’ to pick up his favourite foods and load up the trolley. The other man wept in the dark as Andrew sat by his side in the local football stadium, talking about his broken marriage.
These ‘random’ memories should have pointed me to what would happen next – but I was none the wiser.
As I walked into the local footy oval, I saw a man to my left. At his feet was a wine box, with a couple of bottles of champagne.
He averted his gaze. I sensed sensed his shame and as I did my heart went out to him. His despair and sadness was tangible. With a nudge to acknowledge him as I walked past, I smiled gently.
‘Hello,’ I said.
A quiet ‘hello’ came back.
I continued to walk, and I ‘saw’ in my mind’s eye a picture of me sitting next to him on the park bench, talking.
I never choose to sit down next to drunk men at parks.
I prayed instead.
The image in my mind stuck.
‘I will stop for him and sit if you like. Just let me know if I stop on my first or second lap.’
As I came near to where he sat, he got up.
‘Oh, he’s leaving,’ I thought, ‘missed it.’
However, to my surprise, he merely shifted along to the next park bench. Some men had been working on the turf, so I reasoned he was perhaps uncomfortable. He seemed a gentle soul. He later told me he had become too hot in the sun.
His shift of seating made it difficult to join him, so as I walked close to the boundary fence instead and said, ‘Are you ok?’
‘No, I’m not, I’m actually really struggling,’ he replied.
His vulnerability was raw.
‘Wow, that must be tough. Do you want to talk about it?’ I asked.
He did, and he started talking.
After a little while, I mentioned I was a Christian. I explained I had felt prompted to come over to see if he was ok. Note: I have great local non-Christian friends who would have done the same.
I told him about the picture I had of us sitting and chatting. He said that sounded nice.
We sat side by side on the park bench. I listened some more. He spoke. I prayed for him. He wept.
I told Him about the God who sees him, who loved him right as he was. I spoke briefly of my messes…
I told him God did not judge the drinking, the pain, the mess, the self medicating; instead, I explained, God adored him. I responded to a comment that God did not judge him, that Jesus had dealt with all that, but then I said I was not there to preach.
I repeated God loved him so much and merely hated the drink because it hurt him. I also said that God sees and hates the hurt that he was trying to stifle, and like a good Father wants to see him set free in order to have a wonderful life.
As I prayed, I saw a picture of a little boy. The boy was so full of joy and excitement about football that his eyes shone with delight. Speaking to the broken dream in his heart, I prayed for the boy who had played football and cricket at the very oval we sat beside.
I told him he could not be any more loved than he was right now, just as he was. He shared his struggles to believe in a God that could ‘allow’ such pain in the world. I told him he had good questions, and I responded by telling him of my own struggles with faith when faced with the brutality my refugee clients had survived.
We kept talking, he wept, he drank, and my dog sat patiently by my side.
Eventually he said how much my saying ‘hello’ had meant to him.
It was a tiny, yet significant, act of kindness.
I shared how God prompted me to sit by his side, and how I had prayed for him as I walked all around the oval.
‘Really?’ he said…
I said simply, ‘He is the God who sees, He loves you, He cares’ and I thought of my encounter the day before.
He is the God who sees…
Eventually I stood, I needed to leave. I had to return home to help my mother, whose sister (my aunt) had just died. Promising to leave Andrew’s number at the reception of his accommodation, I said we would love to see him for a coffee. Drunk or not, it was ok; he was welcome just to catch up.
He said he would like that.
I felt the urge to give him a hug; but ignored it the first time. Feeling it again, I offered him a hug. He immediately responded ‘yes’ and threw his arms around me in a way that he was desperate for love. He was hungry for the acceptance that only human warmth can provide. As I hugged him, I hoped he felt the Father’s heart. I could feel his basic human need to be seen and to be loved.
I hope he calls for a cuppa.
I also hope he can kick the addiction and step into his inheritance. I had prayed a future I saw.
He has kicked the habit before. I believe he will again.
Yet, even if he can’t, he knows there is a God who loves him, right where he is at. He knows there is a God who sent a random female stranger to sit and talk on a park bench for an hour.
Yesterday, God gave me kisses…
He was the God who sees…
Today God gave him kisses…
He IS the God that sees…
I hope and trust that this man at the park tasted to see that…
If anyone has read my stories, they know I believe in stopping for the one. The masses are exciting and they matter. The big impact is glorious. Yet there is something so very special about the one. Never forget, He is the Father that encourages with the story of the one lost sheep.
Sometimes in stopping for the one, in taking time to sit, listen and serve, I can become quite despondent. I wonder whether it really makes a difference.
Today I gave my time to support others. I spent longer than planned. An hour out of a day, with an extra half hour, does not seem too much; but when you are in a busy world, it makes a tremendous difference.
Feeling a little flat after, I roused myself. I must have made an impact, given how flat I felt. Walking with my son in the sunshine, I reminded myself that God had asked me to do what I had done, yet the niggle remained – had I just wasted my time?
Intellectually you know you are doing the right thing, but…
Master M and I stopped for lunch at a local cafe. I randomly looked at my mobile phone… 1:11.
‘I love you’ I heard Him whisper.
‘I love you too’ I responded and ate my lunch.
As I went inside to pay, I thought about an ARK (Act of Random Kindness) I had performed over a week before in the same cafe. I don’t talk too much about these, and I would not normally be writing about this one, but the goodness and kindness of God radiates by sharing what happened today. It’s my hope you see Him in this story. It’s my wish that you hear His heart. I trust it will encourage you to look for Him yourself when you feel as I felt today…
Just over a week ago, I had left a sum of money at this cafe. It was enough for 10 or more coffees to be given away to whom ever they pleased. Amazed and delighted, the girl behind the til chatted about never seeing something like this before. She was so excited by the idea. I laughed and said that she would have fun giving the coffees away. The tangible atmosphere in the cafe buzzed with Holy Spirit.
This came to mind as I walked in to pay my bill. I wondered why I had bothered, noting the grouchy exchange I had with the owner late last week when I had tried to be friendly. (Note: my stinking thinking). I checked myself and my attitude, and I smiled as I paid and left.
We were some way down the street, when a girl chased behind us.
‘I was that girl that you left all that money with on the til the other day, you will never guess what happened…’
I smiled and waited…
‘You broke something open that day. I’ve never seen it before, but two more people came in that day and they also left money for free coffees for others…’
‘Wow,’ I responded, ‘that is bizarre.’
I know people leave money in cafes. It happens regularly at another cafe a suburb away from where I live. But, she had never seen it happen in this cafe.
She had not finished her story. She was so excited, she repeated herself.
‘I had to tell you, you broke something open that day, you started something that day, you broke it open that day, and others followed you and did the same, you caused something to start that day, what you did opened something up…’
I smiled and was a little embarrassed. Thanking her for sharing it with me, I told her to have a beautiful afternoon, and we walked on in the sunshine.
I heard the Father’s voice. He spoke to me through her excitement and declaration of what had occurred. he reminded me of my purpose, having first reminded me that I was loved.
I was nearly in tears.
She did not know I was feeling flat.
She did not know I have had those same words spoken over me many times. She did not know I had been told I would break things open, and that others would follow.
Being a breaker sounds fun, glamorous even.
There’s rarely people encouraging you to walk forward.
Stepping out in faith is spelt: R I S K.
There’s often jeering from the sidelines. People regularly misunderstand motives. Many, even ‘friends,’ want you to stop where they are at, so as not to cause them too much discomfort.
The point is, God knew my heart, my thoughts today, and He met me with, ‘I love you.’ Even though I was entertaining thoughts of ‘poor me’ and ‘stinking thinking.’
He then said, ‘thank you, I see you’ and He affirmed my identity and purpose.
Through an excited young woman, He showed me the end of a story. I rarely see what happens next, but she had remembered me and had witnessed to me the marvellous results of stopping for the one, and the flow on impact that an act of kindness had. It was His idea; it was my idea; it was both our ideas… His nudge so intangible. A joy to do, feel the atmospheres shift and watch the delight. She witnessed two more people give money away to bless others they did not know… and she somehow recognised that the act of obedience had broken something open for others to follow.
God heard my heart today, and He met it with a kiss. He did so through an unknowing girl who witnessed generosity break out in her workplace. God knew I needed a reminder that I was loved, that he saw me, and he met me in my need. And He will do so for you too, if you look to see because…
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…
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. I 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…
“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.
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.
I felt to suggest he say, ‘Jesus, come into my heart’
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.
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…
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.
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:
Her daughter stood without crutches on the Sunday;
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;
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.
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.
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…
Will we be bold enough to step into our inheritance and bring others with us?
Dare weto lay claim to the “treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places” (Is45:3) and set them free?
Dare wetake people by the hand and say “come”?
God is breath taking in His beauty, in His kindness, in His Glory!
Last Friday I caught up with two beautiful Christian friends. I do life with them. They make up my writers/life accountability group.
We met for the first time in person since February. The joy was tangible. We exchanged gifts, laughter poured out, and we released shouts of glee into the outdoor restaurant.
The waitress, a young woman maybe in her late 20’s stopped and smiled: ‘oh I love gifts, Christmas is my favourite time of the year, I just love giving gifts- thank you for reminding me of this.’
We chatted briefly and offered to pray for her.
She quickly said yes.
I prophesied, noting the tattoos that ran up her arms, and released God’s heart of love for her. I said I saw her writing and felt she was a poet… I encouraged her to keep writing and spoke to other things I knew.
She was a poet, and many of the other words also affirmed her. They spoke to her heart. She was not a Christian yet, and she was clearly hungry for the love and the joy we carried as a group.
Later, she saw us outside the café, and spoke again to us, asking where we went to church, calling us angels. I told her what church I attended online and spoke more into her situation. She shared that she had been suicidal during lockdown and she struggled with drugs.
‘God can deal with that,’ I said.
She looked at me and asked, ‘Can I hug you?’
I responded ‘Of course’ and as we hugged, I whispered to her she was beautiful, I kissed her on the cheek and we exchanged details….
The following Monday night I received a message:
‘Beth thank-you all three of you beautiful angels have inspired me to actually go to a church I was heavily drawn to before seeing you which is close to me thank you thank you thank you’
And then Saturday evening, I received this message:
Beth…. I am so overwhelmed and appreciative to tell you I HAVE given myself to god. I cried and cried after work today as I pulled into my driveway and realised I had given myself and I feel so happy to be back with god and to love god and know that he loves me. I feel so happy to be where I belong. You had such a big influence on this as did your friends. I showed this emotion to my mum and she has always gently felt the same but I suppose I wasn’t ready. And then this poem just now the first poem as I open the book….
In my daily life since talking with god I feel him and feel peace and when I give I feel perfect and know it is in perfect sense to do so
THANK-YOU THANK-YOU THANK-YOU BETH
I felt drawn to a man today to buy him a smiley face biscuit and so I did and he was delighted and his friend said what made you do that and I said I had a tingly in my tummy to do so and the tinglys are clear and strong and warm and just thank-you so much
[author’s note: anyone can do this!]
Now, I may look like I am the hero in this interaction.
I ‘m not.
As a group, the three of us felt love for one another, and we were expressing our sheer Joy… she was drawn by the Joy fruit in our life…
The three of us just stopped and turned to see a beautiful, gifted girl, and said yes to being the conduit of a loving God, a Father who loved her without reserve. He did the rest…
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I’m sure anyone who has walked with God for any length of time has experienced this … this will be nothing new to most … but no matter how often it happens and how regularly it happens, I am still like a kid in a lolly shop (a candy shop for the Americans) and am amazed at how God works in our lives, and the lives of those around us.
Our church had a women’s event on Thursday night. In fact, I am sad to say I had not thought about it since popping it into my diary, since I tend to live in very short bursts of time right now due to my children’s’ schedules and the fact that anything around their schedules can change at the drop of a hat means I tend to look at one day at a time. I was catching up with my pastor on Wednesday morning for a lovely chat and coffee when she asked if I would play at this womens event. Now God had warned me that I may be asked, so I said yes … and then realised it was the very next day!
I thought … well, I’m going to be there anyway, so I am going to invite local people I love, local people who have no “spiritual home”, and anyone else God places on my heart to invite. I trusted it was going to be a good night, a speaker from the Babes Project was coming, and there was going to be tea and chocolate later … who wouldn’t want to come!
Names popped into my spirit and I texted as I thought of people …
A number of friends couldn’t come, especially with only 24 hours notice, but others could and after speaking to them, and mentioning to one or two I was playing, they became determined to come (some didn’t even know I was a musician).
Now a few weeks ago I posted about a mum F who had wanted to meet me, and whose close friend, M, was an ex-member of my previous church. I did invite F but she had the children that night and couldn’t come. I didn’t have the details of M, but I had mentioned to F that it may be something that M would like. I left it at that … and I basically said to God “if I bump into M at school I will invite her …” noting I never see her at school drop off or pick up …
Well the following morning my little boy wanted to walk himself in, so the odds of seeing M was nil … I had a few things to do, but felt to first head up to a shopping strip and stop for a cup of tea, which I don’t usually do, and I felt strongly to head to a particular coffee shop to do so …
I headed in, and … yes … you know where this is going … there M was with her husband … She said she hardly ever goes to this particular place for coffee … but they had decided to come this morning.
The long and the short of this is that I invited M, she happily said yes, and I think she had a great time … I haven’t seen her since …
Now I know that this is a simple story, and many of you may be saying … “yeah whatever” but as for me … no matter how often this happens, I am in awe of God, a God who sets us up for His best … a God that loves us … a God that allows life to flow with synchronicity, if we will just listen …
A friend received some shocking news recently. Her ex husband, who had been imprisoned for some serious crimes against her, was released without her knowledge a year or 2 before he was due to be released. The history was nasty and not something I will cover here, suffice to say, when she received the news she went into serious shock at the news.
This girl became a friend through an activity that our children shared a few years ago. She had been a person I had felt to stop and pray for about 3 years ago, as I went about my day. God had shown up powerfully for her in the foyer of this place, and after the encounter with a loving God she sought me out and asked if she could come to my home to be prayed for again. I agreed, and so a pattern was established that she would seek me out for prayer, especially when she was struggling. She got a taste of a good God, and she wanted more …
Over the years we have prayed about her work, her children, her future, her fears and her hopes. Healing has come for her, and she has seen God come through for her and her girls time and again … maybe not in her timing … but always His timing has been … perfect!
Each time we prayed God has encouraged her, loved her and wooed her closer. She would visit my home for about an hour, and she would leave at peace and empowered with a “now word” from God to give her a future and a hope, all the while I encouraged her to read particular scriptures, to seek God’s face for herself, knowing that she also had direct access, that I was not the answer, just merely a messenger, a teacher and a sign post to Him.
By her second or third visit she gave her heart to Jesus and she had started to seek His face for herself in her life. Our paths continued to cross, but with less regularity, yet she would continue to seek out prayer when she was struggling. A text would come, I would make time and she would visit. I knew some, but not all of her back story, so it was with sadness that I received her text recently telling me of her ex husband’s release. When I read it my heart sank … I felt so strongly for her and her girls and the fear they must have been experiencing …
In response to her text I instantly prayed – feeling quite useless knowing that I couldn’t fix this one … this one was well beyond me … it was beyond her … it was basically well beyond anyone … but God!
I felt an anointing flow as I drove and prayed. I hoped, I trusted, that she would feel God with her, she needed His tangible presence at this time … and when I got home I texted to let her know I had been praying peace for her and her girls …
I saw her later that week. She wanted and needed more prayer, in person, and she needed a cuddle, and so my husband and I made time. We stopped in our busyness to be with her, to give her a word of encouragement, including the word “plugged in”. We knew it was time for her to connect … not just with us, not just with God … but into a body that could care, pray and walk with her through this time …
She said that she hadn’t known what to do when she got the news. She was paralyzed with fear and shock. She just knew to text for prayer, and so she did … and the peace came not long after. I couldn’t call her or text her at the time, but as soon as I saw the text I started to pray knowing the stress she would have been experiencing. She knew I would pray and she told me she felt a flow of serene peace … a peace that she just could not explain … and she knew the text had got through and been responded to … she knew I was praying for her, she knew God was there for her to hang onto. She had said at the time that the peace was amazing, but she also felt comfort that there was someone who cared enough to be available to text and to pray …
She continues the journey. It has not been an easy few weeks, but she has now taken the next step to get “plugged in” … she is plugging in deeper with God and she is getting plugged into a local Christian community with our family (oh the blessing of a local church!). I believe that it will be in that community (rather than it just being me and God) that healing will come. I am trusting and hoping that community will form around her to walk with her and her girls, and that she will continue to heal, and learn how to walk knowing that God will protect her because …
I had a short amount of time to do some chores, wanting to get back home to complete some study. I went to the local shopping centre and felt I was to walk through Myers on the way to the shops that I had to visit. I had my first treasure hunt list in my bag and thought I may find a treasure (see Kevin Dedmon’s book – The Ultimate Treasure Hunt).
I bought a t-shirt in Myers for my husband and was served by a beautiful woman. I asked if I could pray a blessing for her, telling her that she was obviously a blessing to so many others with her lovely disposition. She agreed.
I felt nothing in particular as I prayed a 10 fold return on the blessing that she had been for others. I trusted that God followed the blessing through.
I then headed towards the escalators feeling that I was to go upstairs through Myers to where I thought I was headed …
As I went up the escalator I saw C. I had prayed for her before – she had graves disease which was causing her right eye to bulge. She had told me it could eventually cause blindness. I called to her as she headed up the escalators and I asked how she was.
She told me that she had been loosing more sight and pointed out that her eye was bulging. I offered to pray a “quickie” since she was heading back to work after a break. She agreed.
I laid my hand on the side of her face, after asking permission, and prayed, quoting the blind shall see. She immediately felt something in her eye area. I laughed and told her that her eye looked less bulgy than before. I told her to go to the toilets to check it out. She left excited, saying she would.
I checked out the sheets on sale in Myers and then felt to go to Adairs instead … where I got the best product and price … God’s favour and blessing! I returned some shoes and then felt that I was to head straight back through the third floor of Myer to go home – I thought I would stop for a takeaway coffee …
As I headed through the 3rd floor God reminded me that I needed to buy some pyjamas for M. I felt great – this limited shopping time was turning out to be an excellent time of prayer, ticking off chores, and blessing and favour all rolled up in one … a smorgasbord outing with God!
I stood with my purchases at the cash register and waited. An older lady called J was all anxious etc. Her credit card would not work – I wanted to get home, but chose to remain calm and I offered to pay for her goods. She accepted and then told me about her grandkids and started to cry. I said to wait and I would pray for her.
She waited as I paid for my purchase and we stood to the side and prayed. She wept under the anointing.
She then started to pour her heart some more. I wrote off the rest of the time I had and figured God would redeem the time and that she was far more important. I suggested we have coffee (I knew I was getting my coffee at some stage). I bought her a hot chocolate and listened while she told me her story in the middle of Myers.
I offered to pray some more. She had arthritis – I held her hand, commanded the arthritis to go, and then felt to take her to her “God space”.
When she had located her God space she said God was “way up in Heaven” and she was “down here with me” (we were still sitting in Myer). I said “ask Him to come closer”. She did. I asked her where He was. She said on the couch opposite us. I said “do you want Him to come closer?” – she said “yes”.
I said “ask Him to come closer”; she did, and started to cry. The anointing grew heavy. I asked where He was and she said He was kneeling right in front of her and that He was saying that He had forgiven her. I told her to tell Him what she wanted to tell Him – she wept and said sorry for being away from Him.
I then felt to say would you like to ask Him into your heart. She said she had a long time ago, but I said do you want to ask Him again, afresh – she said “yes”.
She recommitted her life to Him and shook and wept as he started to heal her broken heart. The anointing was very strong and thick – it grew stronger and stronger each time she asked Him to come closer and closer – I shook a bit and could feel Him all over us. She could feel tingling on/in her hands.
We talked some more and she asked Holy Spirit to come and wash her clean, and back into her heart.
After she had recommitted her life to Jesus Christ I prayed and told the demonic to go and not come back, and for Holy Spirit to fill her completely up. I also prayed an impartation of the gift of healing (she said she wanted it – her husband was in a wheel chair due to some condition).
I gave her my number. We talked about church and about a seminar I was going to where Joshua Mills was talking – inviting her to come. I told her how I had seen an arm growing out at a Joshua Mills seminar last year – she said her husband’s arm was shorter than the other (a coincidence? … no). I said he could be healed and that it was worth coming. She said she wanted to get back to church – I made some suggestions.
We talked a little longer and I walked her through the shopping centre to a point where I hugged and kissed her goodbye – telling her to call and how God loved her so much that He had sent someone to be there and to call her Home to Him.
Throughout the entire “encounter” she said people were watching us. She said that there was a man during our coffee that looked just like a man from her past – a Christian that had cared for her when she had suffered from post natal depression after her first child, many years ago … I do not think that was a coincidence either … God was so very on her case.
As we parted I told her she was an answer to my prayers – that the orphans would come home … and they are because …
This was an early “stepping out on a word of knowledge” in front of people I knew and respected and while it may seem a mundane testimony, it wasn’t for me … for me, it was a huge step of faith … hearing a word of knowledge and stepping out to ask if it was relevant (and you will see I was the second person to ask the question so I think she got her answer in “2 or 3 witnesses”). It was also huge to even offer to pray, not just to couch the suggestion of water in everyday terms, I had a strong urging to pray … and she was touched …
In addition, while the sense of the anointing is not always present, I left the encounter greatly blessed and drenched in the Love of God … I was greatly encouraged and blessed, as was she purely because … God is Good!