Several weeks ago, our town had an event called “Hope For The Mountains,” and during our service, our pastor challenged us to share the flyer in our bulletin with someone to invite them to the crusade. That day, I took my kids to the park, and when we were leaving, we encountered a man and his sweet dog. It is my assumption that he doesn’t have much, as he was stopped to water his dog. I pulled my bulletin out of my purse and invited him.
Honestly, I didn’t think I would see him again. However, I was standing on the corner of the street downtown directing people to the venue, and sure enough, this man and his dog come walking by. I excitedly greeted him, and he was on his way to the crusade. He explained that they said his dog could come in, and I was so relieved. I prayed that God would get that man and his dog into the expo center without a problem. I stood on that corner, ready to just cry, although I was excited; I was overwhelmed that God used me for whatever reason.
Today, my son cleaned his room, my kitchen, and put away his laundry. This is very unusual for him. Getting him to do chores is like pulling teeth. You can only imagine my surprise when I hear the vacuum cleaner running. I told him I would reward him for his behavior and actions for being a hard worker.
I was getting ready to go to Walmart by myself. My kids were begging to go, but I was not about to take them to Walmart at Christmas time. After some time delay, the boys and I were in the car headed to Family Dollar. Why? Other than my son wanting to look for his reward, I have no clue because I don’t go there.
As we approached the check out line, I saw the same man with his dog. I don’t even know who this man is, but I have prayed for him since the first encounter in the park.
I knew this was not a coincidence. This was a divine appointment.
At that moment, God spoke. He was leading me into an answered prayer that I prayed just yesterday, “God, I’m here. What can I do for you? I want to know Your voice as plain as day so much so that it can’t be denied or questioned.”
It was like an automatic download of facts that I just knew. I knew the man was thinking about what he was going to sacrifice and put back, and I couldn’t let him do that because God told me to buy everything. I quietly spoke to the cashier and asked him how much the man’s bill was and explained that I would like to purchase everything for him discreetly. Of course, in the midst of me telling the cashier this, I have 100 million excuses running through my head.
I have to be transparent with you.
This was an internal struggle. In my carnal mind, I was starting to judge why in the world would someone be buying this? Does he really need this? I started to think maybe I should just buy half of it. Maybe I should just buy my stuff and go about my day. God really started to do a heart check with me and made known to me that the bill needed to be paid in full. Honestly, I didn’t have a choice. It was going to be done.
It wasn’t my job to judge, make excuses, or even question the man and especially God. It was my job to listen to the Holy Spirit and the truth God placed as clear as day in front of me. It wasn’t about the items in the bags; it was about the actions that demonstrated sacrifice, love, and obedience. It was about meeting a need that was there and needed to be fulfilled. I tell you this part because, when God gives us the opportunity to do something for His glory, there will be evil forces at play. It’s like a game of tug of war. My flesh gave me so many excuses to bail on this assignment from God, but because I was in tune with the Spirit and allowing Him to guide me, I was able to make the right decision and had a strong desire to help this man.
When I left the store, I sat in my car to make sure he left with all of his bags. Praising God that he did because he was going home with those bags. I couldn’t see his face, but the Holy Spirit let me know that the man is just trying to have the best Christmas that he can.
I want to encourage each of you to rest in God this season; don’t let the hustle and bustle take over, be a willing vessel, and allow God to use you.
I dare you to ask Him what you can do for Him.
I’ve been saving this photo for this moment. I took this right after my second encounter with this man. Now, I know why.
Wishing you the absolute best Christmas this year,
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on barefootinaholler.com
Featured Image by Akil Mazumder
In-Text Image by Hannah Boyd