Yesterday Ruthie was taking the trash to the compactor at the apartment complex where we’re staying. Enroute she met a young woman and as they walked they chatted for a minute – just girl talk. Ruthie turned to walk away and continue her errand, but she felt a check in her spirit. So she turned and walked back to her new acquaintance, and, out of the blue asked, “Are you a Christian?”
The lady thought a moment, then admitted, “Well, I am, but I’m not living like it right now.” Ruthie replied, “Well you know God still loves you, right?” The lady admitted she wasn’t sure, but by now there were big tears in her eyes. They spoke for a few minutes more and Ruthie prayed for her there by the dumpster. When she said Amen, the new friend was in full meltdown. She was obviously sensing that God was pursuing her and had sent her help in the unlikeliest of places.
Before they parted, Ruthie added, “At our church we have a prayer service on Wednesday evening and we would be so happy to have you come so we can pray for you.” Without hesitating the lady replied, “I will. Tell me where your church is.” When Ruthie pointed out the directions, the lady replied, “Oh, I know where that is. I’ll be there.” Will she? We don’t know for sure, but I think so.
I couldn’t help but reflect on what had just happened. A young woman, not near a well but near a dumpster, struggling through her life outside the will of God. A providential meeting with someone who cared about her and was willing to engage in conversation. Appropriate questions. Caring answers. Assurance of her value in the eyes of God. An invitation. I just believe God loves to do that.
But also, just down the street, a praying church. When she arrives on Wednesday she will be greeted warmly and genuinely. As the Spirit leads she will likely be invited to come to the front where some prayer warriors will gather and intercede fervently (biblical word) for her. They will pray that God will strengthen her, that He will help her understand His strong plan for her life. They will ask that He give her the desires of her heart. That the providential encounter will change the population of eternity. I just believe God loves to do that, too.
-By Don Jacobsen (hope-heals.org)