“Great is the Lord and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.” Psalm 147:5
The lady with the purple toboggan.
The single mom who is a C.N.A. and wearing scrubs.
The single lady who was once abused and now living on her own.
They were just shoppers in a store, standing in a line in front of me, hoping to find a few things to help their families along. They were strangers and seemed to have little in common, and yet they had everything in common.
The lady with the toboggan turns to the C.N.A. and says, “Are you a nurse? I could not do what you do. People die! I get too attached. I don’t know how you do it.”
The CNA replies, “It’s just another part of the journey. This life is one journey and the next one is just another part. There might be SEVERAL journeys.”
I could not help it. The words just came from my mind and out of my mouth so quickly that I could not stop them.
“The Bible says, “It is appointed unto man once to die…” there are NOT several journeys. We have THIS life and what we do in THIS life determines our eternity.”
The store went silent. For a moment, as I folded clothes there at the counter, no one spoke. The silence was suddenly deafening.
The single abused woman spoke up. “What did you say?”
I looked at them and they were ALL staring at me. They had arms full of clothes for their families and so there was a commonality, but there was more. This was what God had orchestrated.
I reply, “I said, “It is appointed unto man once to die.” (Hebrews 6). You see, we will ALL die. The question is have you trusted Jesus, and do you walk with him in this life because there are only two options when you die. Heaven or hell.”
The woman in the toboggan, nervous now and trying to hide it…“I know! I need to be in church! I live right across the street and I don’t come! I need to come.”
The single abused woman kept going. She was too curious now. “What does that MEAN? I have heard it before, but what does it MEAN to walk with Jesus?”
“It means do you trust Him and have a relationship with Him? Do you believe that He died for you and that He lives? Do you believe that He died for your sins and that one day you will be in heaven when you die?”
They all stared at me. Other people in the store shopped, but no one spoke. Everyone listened.
I silently prayed, “Speak, Lord. Show them YOU!”
The single lady again. “Oh, you have NO IDEA what I have done in my past! I don’t think He could forgive all of that.”
My friend was there helping me fold the clothes. She’d had her back to the conversation up until now and it was all that she could take. She turned around…
“No ma’am. You have no idea what I have done in my past!! And He HAS forgiven me.”
Again, they all stood in silence looking at both of us. You could see their minds at work and feel the presence of the Lord so strong that you could have reached out and touched it.
The abused lady, “Do you KNOW what it would mean if I thought I could be forgiven for all that I’d done?”
I reply, “Yes. I do. I know because I know what it means to ME to be forgiven for all that I’ve done!! All of us have a past.”
Her eyes widened and a look of disbelief.
“You see I have a different past than yours, but I have one! I had to come to Jesus and tell Him that I was sorry for that. I know you have heard the word “repent.” It’s a word you hear in church, but what it REALLY means is to turn around. You have to TURN around from your sinful life and go in the other direction TOWARDS God. You just have to know that He loves you SO much that He died for you and He wants a relationship with you. That “walking with God” that we talked about earlier.”
The abused lady, “Yeah. I have heard of repent. I had no idea what that meant.”
I had the the lady with the toboggan’s clothes folded and ready to go. I ask, “Do you need a Bible?”
“Oh yes! I obviously need to go home and read it!”
I get a piece of paper and start writing… Jeremiah 29:11, John 3:16…
“Read the book of John,” I say.
The abused lady, “I have Bibles. I have read my Bible before, but I don’t understand. I need the service times for your church. I also live across the street, but I am too lazy to do anything about it. I need this. I need to come. I am going to come.”
God and His timing. God’s Word. God’s plan and God’s power. They all wrapped themselves up in a moment in time and people heard the truth in a clothes closet. Were it not for His saving power in my life I would have absolutely nothing to share. His power changed me and I will never be the same. I am praying that His Word and His will for their lives will take hold and He will be given all honor and glory and praise for lives saved and changed once again. Today I stood and beheld the power of our great God and His all powerful Word.