Stories of a good God

Posts tagged ‘Shopping’

Stepping out in lockdown – God is Good!

Recently, as lockdown in Melbourne, Australia lifted somewhat, I headed out to my favourite organic store. I have known the current owners for 10 years or more.

A few years ago, one owner told me she had received a diagnosis of kidney cancer, and was all clear. She had then regained her vitality with the help of a naturopath – a practitioner she was recommending to me.

Recently, while at the store, we exchanged our usual pleasantries, and I mentioned the naturopath, saying I had referred my niece to her. She told me she had not seen her naturopath for some time, but she said she needed to go back since she felt that the cancer had returned – she was having some pain and other urinary tract issues.

I asked her about her urologist. It turned out that she was seeing the same one my mother had been seeing two years ago. That specialist did not seem to have the answers for my mother’s many complicated and life-threatening issues, so I T whether she was happy with the specialist. She said ‘no’, so I told how we had been fortunate enough to find another for my mother, by ‘chance’ who, while wanting in her bedside manner, was excellent, and was the only expert who had worked out my mother’s many issues. She had got my mother well and functional at 88, after 15 months of repeated hospital visits.

T asked me for the specialist details, and I then asked her if I could pray. She said ‘absolutely,’ so I said I would stand behind her, and I asked if she was ok with it. I told her I would place my hand on her lower back, while keeping at a distance. Note: it is still a requirement we keep 1.5m distance by law here in Melbourne, and sadly, restrictions have toughened up again because of hot spots breaking out as I write.

I stepped behind T. I placed my hand on her lower back, and I prayed. I commanded healing to come, peace to come, the oil of the Holy Spirit to flow – whatever came to mind as I listened to God’s prompting. She stood calmly, but it moved her. She teared up. She was visibly shaken. I desperately wanted to hug her. I told her I wanted to give her a cuddle. She felt God’s Presence. I released His love on her back and He reached into her heart.

Yes, through me, He releases His love. Does this make me a better, more holy, somehow stronger Christian? No, sadly no! It makes Him amazing that He can use anyone, including me, even when I feel weak (and I was feeling depleted and weak on that day). I’m still in awe that He will flow through me. Actually, I’m like an excited child every time He moves like this through me. I am amazed that the God who created the universe lives in me, and will flow through little me!

I must admit, the hardest thing about praying for owners of shops, or service people in stores, is that people are constantly walking around the store, and often customers suddenly appear, out of nowhere, and need or want service. As soon as I started praying, a customer walked to the counter and stood watching us. I felt awkward. No matter how many times I have done this, I still feel awkward. It’s inconvenient, it’s uncomfortable, but Jesus never promised us comfort, he just said ‘follow me’ and He goes about doing His Father’s business.

Is it easy?

Yes, actually it IS easy.

Is it convenient?

Rarely!

And so, I ask you, as you walk through your day, who can you reach out and ‘touch’ with His love. Who is He prompting you to stop for and reach out to?

Is stopping and praying for someone, like I have here, too much for you?

If ‘yes’ then ask God to bring to mind someone you can just send out a card to; send a text to; call up and arrange a zoom cuppa with; or go for a walk with? Stop and ask:

‘God, who would you like me to encourage today?’

I know He will give you a name or a face. Someone will come to mind. He wants you to hear for them more than you want to hear for them. And, when you get that prompt, I encourage you with all my heart, to step out and just say “hey, how are you doing?” Alternatively, send them a card, send them a text, suggest a walk, even just pray for them in the privacy of your home, and together, we will extend the Kingdom of Heaven.

I know He will move on your behalf as you step out in obedience.

He will delight in you, and He will touch them for His name’s sake.

I know this because…

God is Good!

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!

 

 

 

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!

Stopping for the Irish…Stopping for the one…God is Good!

Just after New Year’s my husband and I were in town taking advantage of the sales.  We had finished up in a store and were paying for our purchases and as we did I turned and spoke to a family fresh from the shores of Ireland.

The mother had spoken to me earlier, as I had tried on a summer dress.  She was kind and full of energy and enthusiasm.  Her daughter and husband were with her.  The woman and her daughter looked like they were going to the races with their pretty summer dresses on, heels and huge sun hats … gorgeous but quite out of the ordinary for shopping in inner -city Melbourne.

As we paid I overheard their daughter’s name – it was the same as my own daughter’s and so, taking the “hint” from God I checked whether I was to “stop for the one” and offer to pray … I was … and so I mentioned the “coincidence” …

I asked the young girl if she knew the meaning of her name, she didn’t, and so I told her and as I did I offered to pray for her …

I asked her parents if I could pray and the parents agreed – good naturedly.  As I prayed a blessing I started to prophesy over her … I asked her whether she was 11, she was, and I started to speak into her future … the next 10 years that would be so very pertinent to her growth and future …

The parents watched me … my husband watched them …

Later, my husband mentioned to me that he had the feeling that the mother acted a bit as if the whole deal was a bit “cute” … until a moment came when there was a shift of attitude from the mother and her focus became intense.  I believe it was possibly when the anointing became tangible, as I started to move into calling out her daughter’s destiny … when ever and what ever it was … there was apparently a definite shift of attitude …

I finished the prayer and smiled, thanking the daughter and the parents for allowing me to pray.  I asked if I could hug her and he parents agreed and as I finished hugging the daughter the mother threw herself into my arms, eyes full of tears and thanked me with an intensity that caused me to take a step back (figuratively speaking) … I was a bit overwhelmed … she was so grateful for what I had said done …

Having not been aware of the parents joking attitude at first, but discussing it afterwards, I realised that obviously some transaction had taken place that was significant for the family … I had felt the anointing … but it was obvious later due to full-on response from the mother …

We left with our goodies in our hands … business shirts in bag and a new summer dress 🙂 …

And, this lovely Irish family, that had just reached our shores to live, left with God’s promises for their daughter … His encouragement for a good future in a foreign land, where different pressures would come to play out on her life as compared to a life in Ireland, and, as I pointed out to the young girl … God obviously loved her a lot if He was going to put it onto my heart … a stranger’s heart … to stop and offer to pray for them to call out details of her inner beauty, to call out her potential and future promise …

The future is good for this young girl … and I trust and hope that she will always remember that God loved enough to speak to me about her … He let a stranger “read her mail” and call out her future …

I trust it will be an encounter that she remembers when she doubts her worth … I encouraged her that she was significant enough for me to stop, sense the heart of God for her and to step out and offer to pray … even though it was uncomfortable for me to do so …

I trust the same for her mother … when she doubts …

I trust that through this encounter with God that they will remember and hold dear in their hearts that indeed

God is Good!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: