Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘Hope’

And he would love again because God is Good!

I wrote this testimony up a few years ago, but I never published it.  I feel it’s time to publish it now, so that it may serve as encouragement to those who are journeying something similar, to those that need to know that they are worthy of love, and of loving again, and for those too that need to know that their prayers matter because God is Good!

There is a local fruit and vegetable shop in my suburb. The staff are friendly, they stop and say “hi”.  It’s my local community, part of “my turf”.  There have been a number of prayer assignments there over the years, and the most recent one was just last Friday …

A couple of years ago, the manager of this store helped me out and was exceptionally kind.  He is that sort of bloke … a beautiful example of an ordinary person being kind to another human being!   A little while later he saw me in the store and asked how I was doing.  I said great compared to where I had been, thanks to people like him around me.  I then got on to ask him how he was doing …

He looked and opened up his heart to me.  He had just journeyed through a divorce he said.  She had been his best friend.  There were no children from the relationship, which he felt was a blessing.  He still hurt.  He looked ready to cry.

I wasn’t too sure what to say at the time, but he said passionately that he never wanted to go through loving another person again.  He said he would never marry again – it hurt too much when it fell apart. Everything about me went on alert … he was cursing himself out of the place of his extreme pain.   looked at him and said quietly:

“now that would be a shame.  Your’e a good man, and it would be sad to deprive someone of you … you would make a wonderful husband and a wonderful father … your a kind person and generous hearted, and it would be such a shame for you to not be willing to risk again …”

The tears nearly brimmed over as the words hit his open heart. He thanked me and I smiled at him, wanting to fix his pain, but knowing I couldn’t do that …

I had wanted to pray for him then and there, but felt unsure and so as I left I started to pray for him privately. Calling healing, love and blessing into his life.

It was sometime later, a few months maybe, or longer, I saw him and there was a gleam to his eye and a quickness to his step … I said “hello” and commented on how he was looking. He looked at me and told me that he had met someone special … I smiled and asked for some more details. I let him know that I had prayed for him after I left the day he had told me of his divorce and he excitedly said that the prayers had been answered.  I laughed and said that I was delighted for him, that he was too special to hide himself under a rock forever … he grinned and thanked me again saying that he had taken on my words of encouragement sometime ago …

I offered to pray for him at this point and he agreed, telling me some of what he felt he wanted prayer for …

Well this first relationship did not pan out, and he has seen a few more people … but he is not crushed each time. He  is still hopeful that one day he will meet a person with whom he can share his life…

I see him regularly and catch up with how he is each time … he is a part of my community, and a blessing to those that he works for, and that work under his supervision. Sometimes I will pray for him, other times it is purely pleasantries.

The last time I saw him was a few Fridays ago.  I was sitting outside a coffee shop having a cuppa with my husband in the sunshine. There was the usual banter, and a bit of Aussie teasing, and I asked him what he was up to while the store was closed (where he worked was being renovated). He told me he was heading off to Dubai for a holiday so I called him over and prayed for him again, asked God to bless him and to make his paths straight, and that He would be granted wisdom.

He grinned and looked at us both and said he planned to have a brilliant time …

I watched him walk away and thought of the kindness he had shown me. I thought of the broken man he had been when he had poured his heart out in the store a little later, and how he had healed and grown strong again, knowing that he was worth being loved and that he was worth loving again …

Did my prayers make a difference? I don’t know for sure, I’d like to believe so. What I do know is that he poured his heart out to me in the middle of the store, and that in that moment I could speak life into the place of pain in his heart. These words hit home, and he said they had meant a great deal. I had a strong burden on my heart for him as I left, and I prayed and lifted him up to my God.  Would he have healed anyway … maybe … but what I know and believe is that to walk as Jesus walked, when we feel compassion for people, we are to stop and pray (whether we do that face to face or privately that’s between you and God) but regardless I do not believe that God gives us a heart for people to just feel sad … but to do something about it.  I believe these prayers matter, and I believe that these prayers make a difference. I believe that we are called to the lost, hurting and wounded, and I believe that God sends them to us to speak life into them because …

God is Good!

 

 

 

Today was a good day – God is Good!

Today was a good day!

We had a beautiful day of sunshine.

I cleaned, did some work, encouraged some people, took a call to help a friend (a pre Christian and we talked about Christian stuff amongst the other stuff), did some loads of washing, did some pro bono work, watered my garden (I am a garden person and these last few days I have got back into the garden after 6 years of never managing to due to ballet runs), had a coffee with my husband, encouraged my children … and …

did I mention it was a beautiful warm day of sunshine here in Melbourne Australia?

In a nut shell, the good is, aside from the above:

My husband has settled into working at home. My 16 year old daughter and my 12 (nearly 13) year old son have settled into online schooling with their respective schools. I work from home anyway … so the difference for me is a full house, and no running around doing ballet runs for children :-). School term finished today, and my son has his birthday this weekend – we will bake a cake, skype family and sing happy birthday and find the joy in it all.

There is a peace, it does feel like the peace in the midst of the storm, but there is peace.

Indeed, Lana Vawser (and others) have released words that it is a time of ‘Selah’, a time to pause, reflect AND a time to lift up Jesus above all, for as we do He will lift up all mankind to Himself, and that’s where we need to be (lifted up to Jesus) (see John 12:32). Check out the Psalms where this term is used, and try stopping, pausing for a moment and think, contemplate the Word you just read …

Better still read (and declare) Psalm 91 and contemplate our beautiful God.

And so I will continue to rest upon a life scripture of mine, Phil 4:4-8, which exhorts us to:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

So I will pray.

I will petition.

And, with thanksgiving I present my requests to God … and those requests are fierce and in line with Doug Addison’s prayer  to break the covid19 virus and …

I have peace, thank God I have Peace!

And I pray you do too …

Regardless I will focus and think on all things that are:

  • true
  • noble
  • right
  • pure
  • lovely
  • admirable
  • excellent
  • praiseworthy

even if my mind wants to go else where, I will train it back, purely and simply because …

God is Good!

Interestingly, I felt God ask me to post daily (which if you are a fellow blogger you know that is quite a lot of work, especially if you are rather verbose like I can tend to be ;-). So, if these posts are a little rough and ready – apologies!

It was therefore ironic when a fellow blogger (chrissblog11) today asked me to join other Christian bloggers and post an encouraging verse every day! Chrissblog11 wants to ‘start a hope movement to stop fear in these times.’ Well this is what I am doing too – releasing over the air waves that GOD IS GOOD! Declare it to the world, the world wide web … the WWW. that GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD!

Stop and Shop – release Hope … God is Good!

My last two posts have been about obedience to God in a place of rest rather than striving.

This story occurred last week as I went about my day.  Toilet paper, meat, vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice had flown off the shelves, and our supermarket shelves were bare.

I had just dropped my daughter to her ballet training when a ballet teacher Miss A ran up to the car to apologise for opening the studio late. I smiled and said not to worry. I was keen to get to the plant nursery (a job I had planned for over a week).  However, rather than being able to wave a cheery ‘goodbye’ and speed off I saw that she looked distressed.

I had to stop and slow down for the one.

Miss A started to pour her heart out about her fears.  She feared her loss of income, how she had not been able to buy anything at the supermarket (where she had been and run late that morning), how she was running low in toilet paper, and food, and she had so many to feed at home, including two growing teenagers training at an elite level in ballet.  She then said how worried she was for her 14-year-old daughter who had cried with fright, how her son’s training was being interrupted, and how all the overseas scholarship training and performing opportunities had dried up due to the virus.

I looked at her distressed face, stopped, remembering we were to bring ‘Hope” to the world. I recalled that I was born for such a time as this (even though I felt just as useless) and I spoke out the good, how blessed she was that she could continue to train her beautiful children, how I had been praying for the studio, for the staff, that it would be ok, that we would all be ok, that maybe we could do some distance training online … (gently, gently I dropped that last idea in since it was as yet unformed in my heart – it would not be until the following day that God confirmed this to be a suggestion).

I really didn’t have any answers for her and felt a bit useless; however, as I drove off, I prayed, and as I did I felt my morning gently being rearranged by an invisible but very present Fatherly hand.

I was to go back to my home suburb. This made no sense to me, but I listened and as I drove I felt to go to my local greengrocer/mini market.

“Ok God I will, what have I got to lose if I’m wrong, and then I’ll head to the nursery.”

Gardening is my thing and with enforced home time looming, and a birthday gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket, I wanted to get to my purchase before shops shut. I never did get to the nursery that day …

I walked into the local shop, and to my surprise there was loads of everything – there was an abundance of food … fresh chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice everything she said she needed but could find …

As I wandered and bought a few things for our home (chicken and sweet potatoes and potatoes) I felt a nudge to text the teacher.  I was a little reluctant – I just don’t like looking too keen if you know what I mean, but on the nudge I texted, and then rang, leaving a message.

She rang back quickly and I explained there was plenty of food – what did she want?

She said she would go later, to which I replied, “no, I will do the shopping for you to be sure you have what you need.”

In a nutshell, I got a shopping list from her and I loaded my trolley with her shopping needs chicken, wraps, corn, sweet potatoes, brown rice, potatoes, leek, vegetable stock … the list went on.

At the end of the call she breathlessly said: “I told LS (her daughter) that people’s kindness would shine through and we would be ok.”

I agreed, we would be ok … and I agreed that her daughter would see people’s kindness shine through this time, even though she had been so frightened by the bare shelves she had seen that morning.

Now, while I would like to take credit for this all, I must say, it was not me … I just did the shopping!

Had God not told me to go to this particular shop, I would not have done so.  Had I not gone, I would not have then felt the nudge to text/call her when I was surrounded by all the abundance. Had I not stopped to listen to her heart felt fears and needs, I would not have known she had those needs. To be honest, as I walked around the shop I felt absolutely moral bound to call her, now I knew her need, to let her know there was so much food.  I had to be sure she would be ok.

It was SO like My Father, to lead me to abundance in a seemingly barren place.

I was blessed, because I was able to purchase for my home, but as I did I could also do His shopping for the one that was on His heart. Both Miss A and I were blessed.

In a nut shell, I bundled the items up, and dropped them to the studio when I collected my daughter. Miss A’s teenagers would have enough protein to keep dancing and the family would have some fresh food for at least the next few days.

After this I knew to step back again. To have kept shopping for her like that would have made her feel embarrassed. I obey, and wait for the next nudge. It is in this way God releases (albeit through a pretty broken vessel by now) His goodness.

She knew I had been praying for them all.

Her needs were met for the day, and I continue to pray for her and all the studio staff in the days to come, purely and simply because …

God is so very Good!

Please – if you have a story of stopping and serving in this time of challenge, big or small, share it below, or message me so I can share it because it glorifies God to have His goodness shared, and in the testimony is the power to call upon His name to “do it again Lord.” If we all just stop for the one as we go, global wide, people will taste and see that God is Good!

 

And Peace flooded her soul … God is Good!

We had half an hour to take a hat back, buy a pan and get to a family function.  We determinedly walked through the shopping centre, having prayed and received the perfect park … God’s favour was with us 🙂 … it always is!

We entered the store to return the hat.  The girl behind the counter recognised me, as I did her, but she looked tired and said as much saying how she felt “down”, that the recent overcast mornings had impacted her soul and reflected her overcast state of being … she looked colourless, tired and drained …

We kept chatting as she processed my return.  She finished up and as she did I knew I needed to pray for her … for her to have joy, peace, and for a sense of hope to come …

As she handed me my credit card and docket and I contemplated the offer to pray, and in my hesitation the store filled up with customers, others came to the counter for service and the phone began to ring …

Missed it I thought … now I’ll have to wait … or go … blow!”

I looked around behind me as she talked on the phone and saw my son, daughter and husband still “cruising” the shelves … seemingly content …

She put the phone down to look for the required item, the customer waiting on the other end, I ignored the person to my right waiting for service, I ignored the phone call, and said:

“Give me your hand” … and reached out over the counter, my hand extended.

She did, and as she did I invited the Holy Spirit to come, I quickly said:

“I’m going to pray for you, I’m a Christian …”

and proceeded to command depression to leave and I released hope, joy, faith, and peace into and around her …

I finished quickly, knowing that we were all in a hurry … As I did I said “do you feel that?” feeling the anointing sweep all around me …

“I do, I do,” she said and teared up ever so slightly. 

I watched as her face lost the greyness and colour flooded her countenance … the look of stress left immediately, and peace, a quiet sense of joy, flooded her features.  I told her that her face had regained colour and told her to look in the mirror …

I leant over and kissed her hand, saying that God loved her very much and she instantly smacked a big pink kiss straight back onto my hand leaving a big kiss mark and she looked at me and kept saying …

I felt that … I definitely felt that …. That was amazing … I felt that …I feel so much better” and she smiled.

I responded saying that God had asked me to pray for her, because He loved her, and didn’t want her feeling the way she had been, that tomorrow she would wake and feel amazing …

She quickly finished the phone call, served the other people and essentially followed us around the store smiling and saying …

I feel so much better … I really felt that … that was amazing … thank you”

We left the store with plenty of time to find our “pan purchase”, satisfied that the hat had been returned, and that, yet another person, had experienced that, indeed … yes in deed …

God is Good!

Saturday morning rush … stopping for the one …

I sensed there would be a park to the left … but for some unfathomable reason I drove straight … I looked … there was a park there and I had missed it and the car in front of me took the one I had my eye on …

“Blow!”

I drove up well past where I needed to go for bread and the much-needed coffee.  I had a frantic morning of drop offs, collecting clothes, getting food for children, and pick ups from ballet before I headed back to the conference at church, a 30 plus minute drive away …

As I pulled into the park in front of the post office I wondered if there would be a God assignment … and I recalled the treasure hunt God encounter from a couple of years before … there was no-one there … I shrugged, figuring God knew I was way too busy to stop anyway …

I quickly headed up to the stores I needed to visit, got my “stuff” and walked briskly back … forgetting the thoughts of before, focused on getting my coffee home so I could relish a little bit of chocolate that was sitting on my kitchen bench before I started the whole crazy pace of life again …

As I approached the post office I noticed a man sitting in the sunshine, he looked homeless, so I started praying for him as I strode firmly towards my car … warm coffee in hand, relishing the thought of maybe 10 minutes on my own with a little piece of chocolate and coffee … but as I prayed for this stranger I knew that God wanted me to stop, go back to him and offer to pray … it was time to stop for the one …

I turned, walked up to him smiling and excused my interruption.  I explained I was a Christian and had felt that I should offer to pray, and told him that rather than walk past him and pray for him privately, I was to stop for him at that moment …

He looked and said “yes”, so I asked for his hand and as he looked up at me he gently said would I please sit by his side …

I did a quick mummy calculation … time to sit? … I had two children to collect, 10 minute drive there, clothes to collect from home, food to get ready, children had to be changed …

I sat.

I knew the children would be safe, the chocolate would be nearly as good without the coffee, and giving my time here was of eternal benefit, as compared with my own strong desire to steal 10 minutes on my own.

It was God’s heart.

He started to tell his story …

He was Polish, had fought in a war, seen people die, was lonely, was divorced, and had sat here friendless day after day watching people … happy people … walk past him and never stopping … no-one loved him he said …

I looked into his eyes and said,

“Well God does!  He asked me to stop for you.  I was praying for you as I walked past, but He said to stop for you because He loves you …”

And I prayed, in the sunshine, holding the hand of a dishevelled and broken stranger, drinking coffee as I sat on a bench outside our local post office …

I prayed and searched God for the words, for the insight … and all I could think of was to pray for Peace, for a sense of God’s love to flow into him, for Hope and for Joy … I prayed for friends and companionship, and that he would know and sense the Holy Spirit, that he would feel God and know he was never alone …

He told me more of his story …

He no longer saw friends, suffered with depression, he had been raised a Catholic, but he had given it the … flick … (and he gestured violently with his arms) … and in rebellion against his father he had joined the army and flung himself out of planes … he had been married and had a child who he never saw … he would sit on this bench and no-one would stop … “but you did” he said …

I felt God prompt me to give him my husband’s mobile number … I did … and we chatted briefly about the testimonies I had heard from David Wagner at the conference and how David had been suicidal but he couldn’t successfully kill himself … he said he had tried to kill himself too … I then told him some of Graham Cooke’s story (click here for testimony) and he relished the testimonies of two men one so damaged and broken as a young boy who had tried to kill himself so many times the other also broken as a young boy and running from the law … and how both had become full of a loving God, working miracles and signs and wonders and how they were fully whole … his eyes lit up at the possibilities …

I mentioned church, and gave the details but I knew that was too much of a step for him … I knew I had to invite him into my world … our world, instead … I didn’t want to I had befriended mentally ill people before, and I knew it could be an intense experience … and anyway … he was a man … not my job …

I then felt God prompt me to give him the CD pack I had in my bag for a friend.  It was a Bill Johnson CD pack called Enduring Faith.  The first CD had been recorded a week or two prior to Bill Johnson’s father dying and the second CD had been recorded the week after … it was a powerful and strong message of faith when it appears the victory is gone …

I argued with God. 

These CD’s were for my friend.  I had promised to lend them to her.  They had our surname written on them, and our home phone number.  I had given him my husbands first name.  He could work out where we lived.  He was a stranger, a man, I have young children … the thoughts flooded my mind … the fears, the “what ifs” …

I listened again … and I gave him the CDs …

As I left him smiling on the bench in the sunshine he told me he had planted tomatoes and they were growing on his balcony (he wasn’t homeless after all) … and he was looking forward to the crop … I could see he had caught some hope … and he said he would sit there again and wait to see if I would walk past again some time soon …

I jumped into my car, with the thoughts rushing through my head of what I needed to accomplish next, and as I drove past I waved to him, and he waved back, still smiling … and as I did I knew we were to be the community he so earnestly desired, wanted, needed.  I could see him whole …

I could see him full of Jesus, I could see him as God saw him …

We were to invite him into our world … we were to be the hands and feet of Jesus to him and so we were to invite him into our world, into a world with Jesus … and in doing so we would be inviting him into the family of Christ … and in doing so I trust that he will know that …

God is Good!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: