Ever have something happen that just makes you realize God had his hand in things? I don't know why that surprises me, but I confess it still does. This week I had two things happen.
First, unbeknownst to me, the registration for my business fell down and landed in my recycle bin. It made it all the way to the curb, and then we had a big storm that left items strewn all over the neighborhood--we had a milk jug under the car, papers beyond the garage, cups in the flower beds...but the registration landed face up, neatly just to the side of the sidewalk as if God laid it there on purpose where I would see it. "Hey, don't we need that?" my husband asked as he walked past. (It's now dried and hung in a frame--we'll know if it falls again!)
Then, I got a call from a dear friend from the past--we exchange occasional emails but haven't talked since we worked together about fifteen years ago.
"Hi!" (We're so "last century" and don't have caller ID, so I never know who's on the line...)
I wracked my brain, trying to think if there was someone from church by that name that I should know, but the only woman I could think of was my friend. Her next words jolted me back to the conversation:
"You called me."
"I did? I...don't think I did!"
"Your name is on my caller ID."
"Really? I'm not sure I even have your number." I started looking to see if I did, and if I could have somehow miss-dialed a number earlier.
We talked for a few minutes about my kids and her grandkids and hung up. Later that day, she called again. "No, REALLY. Your name and number showed up on my caller ID, that's the only way I have your number. I think this is a God thing and that I'm supposed to be praying for you. What in the world is going on there?!"
Truth be told, we've had a crazy 6 weeks here. My daughter and I both got sick, my husband had hives, the water heater broke, we flooded part of our downstairs and had to have the reclamation company come with fans for days (horrible smell & noise for my husband especially) and cut out part of the drywall (things are still torn up and we have stuff all over the living-room & garage), then I got sick again, then my husband was in the hospital overnight, then my daughter got sick again, plus trying to finish the book...So it has been a little chaotic here!
So, she and I had a dear conversation. She shared more about what's going on with her (no picnics there either with surgeries and wound management, but her church has been so encouraging and faithful in prayer and she feels blessed by them). And she emphasized again that she would pray for us.
I was so happy she called and marveled for a few minutes. But at the same time, fear set in. God's never put my name on someone's caller ID before. What could it mean? Was something even worse about to happen after all that's been going on lately? Why do we need prayer that badly?
Silly, faithless, untrusting thoughts. What made me jump to those conclusions instead of thinking maybe, just maybe, God wanted to lift my burden by sending her to call me and pray for me? I'm still so prone to think the worst of God, and here he demonstrated his love for me, visibly, again. Stop. Bask in my love. I'm here with you and just wanted to remind you of that again today.
The beautiful thing about his second demonstration is that it wasn't accomplished alone. He chose to work through my friend. What if she hadn't called? What if she had been busy and thought I'd call back later and eventually forgot? What if the moment had passed? No. She saw, she responded, she felt it was important to call--not once but twice--so that I would really hear God through her. I didn't hear the first time, but the second...the second I heard the urgency mingled with love in her voice.
Stop. Rest. Bask. Know me, he beckons to us. That's a message God has laid on my heart throughout these years of Dave's illness and as I wrote Invisible Illness, Visible God. He reveals himself. She was faithful, and I saw God again.
When has God used you to reach out to someone and encourage them? Or when have you seen God recently? I'd love to hear your stories!