In Unexpected Moments

Sometimes it’s in the least expected moments that God teaches and uses you.

I have been struggling lately with my own heart. I’ve felt like I haven’t experienced God’s close love in a while, and therefore, haven’t felt like I’ve given it to others much either. I’ve gotten caught up in my own woes again and distracted.

I’ve been praying about this and have been giving it over to the Lord. Through this, I’ve noticed a couple of instances in the last week where He has used me to bring comfort and joy to others, which in turn has filled my heart with a glimpse of love for Him and them.

The first occurrence happened a couple Sundays ago. Michael and I went to a cottage for the weekend with some of his family. We had all planned to attend a church nearby together for their Sunday service. However, our communication got mixed up and Michael and I ended up at a different church than the rest of the family. The service was about to start so it was too late to leave and find out where they had gone. I wondered why the Lord had done that.

The pastor and his wife greeted us on the sidewalk as we approached the building. They were so excited to see us. There were two other friendly ladies waiting to greet us as we entered and directed us where we needed to go.

It was a tiny church. It looked like only 30 people in the congregation or so. Almost all of them were elderly. Two ladies sitting in the back pew called me over when we found our seats. They introduced themselves and wanted to get to know me.

It was at that moment when I met this lady Pat that my heart filled with love and joy. It’s like I had stepped back in time to the first church I grew up in. I was that special little girl again that the elderly ladies always encouraged and prayed for. They took interest. The congregation were all engaged with one another. I felt noticed and special to this woman that didn’t even know me.

The service began and the pastor’s wife got up to greet everyone. She wished a 93-year-old man a very happy birthday and celebrated a couple’s anniversary. There was a great sense of community in that place. Though it was little, it resembled the family of God so well and I was proud to take part in it. I felt the Lord in that place when I needed it.

Then Tuesday came. I was sitting in a waiting room trying to deal with some health issues. Part of me questioned why I was even there. A couple of hours had passed and I felt like this was going to be a pointless endeavour.

Then a woman arrived. She heard some horrible news about her father and was heart-broken. I sat across the room praying for her and asked the Lord if He wanted me to go comfort her.

She was shaking from the shock as she tried to put her father’s necklace on. A cross hung on his gold chain. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was my answer.

I walked over to the lady and asked if I could help her put the necklace on. She gave a sigh of relief and gratefully agreed. Then I asked if I could pray for her. She nodded, and I bent down to lift this family up to the ultimate Comforter. Then I hugged her as she sobbed.

My heart was filled with love and compassion for her. I was reminded in that moment that God’s love is so often felt in giving of ourselves.

I felt it in taking that moment with Pat in the church by engaging in conversation with this stranger. I stepped out of my comfort and was surprisingly blessed with such enthusiasm in return.

I felt it when I set my own issues aside for a moment and comforted a grieving woman. Her need was far greater than mine.

I don’t know if there’s anyone feeling like I am right now. Sometimes the Lord can feel far and silent. But He never is. No matter what we face, we can trust that the ever-present God is always with us.

As Joshua received his commissioning as the new leader of Israel, both Moses and the Lord assured him with this truth:

“Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you … The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:6, 8

Jesus confirmed this commitment just before He left the disciples and returned to heaven. He commissioned them with a call to share the gospel and make disciples for Him:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Though you may not feel His presence or love today, you can be assured that He is there. His nail-pierced hands are guiding you through the fog of unknowns and His love is sustaining you. Hang on my friend and pray that your eyes may be opened to where He is. It may just be in the least expected moments that you find Him.

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