Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
Regret fills my heart, as I sink at the thought of missing an opportunity to pray for, uplift or encourage her. She walked to another table, searching for her little boy's shorts and I warmly said, "Bye" as I put my son's clothes in the basket and walked away.
Have you ever felt like you missed an opportunity to share the gospel? Or, encourage someone in their pain?
I walked in WalMart on a mission. Feeling quite queezy, I knew I wouldn't dare be in there long and I really wanted to hurry home to get something to eat and relax. Although the beginning pregnancy blues were wearing on me, my tracks were suddenly brought to a hault when I browsed the toddler boy's clothes section.
I grabbed a few things- looking through the cuttest brown shirts that were marked down for $3.50. My little man can always use more clothes. Kids grow like weeds. With these thoughts in mind, I continue. Yet, I see a lady dressed modestly and wearing braids in her hair. She looks like she's doing the same thing I am doing.
I move by basket full of groceries to the side and say "Excuse me", hoping I'm not in her way. She says, "It's ok. How are you?"
A friendly voice always brings a smile to my face. I look at her and say, "I'm doing great, how are you?"
From then on, the sound of her voice went from a happy chipper lady to a broken and sad woman crying for help. She began to share with me that she's from Beaumount, TX. Beaumount was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Ike. In fact, her area was flooded really badly.
I asked if she was in town with family. She says, "No. It's just me and my four children."
My heart sank further- really, I could feel my heartbeat in my knees. I almost shed a tear, as familiar feelings arose. I couldn't think of what to say; how to make her feel better. I was speechless.
Understanding her feelings all too well because of my evacuating from Hurricane Katrina, I say, "I really do hope things work out well for your family soon... I understand exactly how you feel. I evacuated from Hurricane Katrina."
She had a look of comfort- I'm assuming because she saw I felt her feelings exactly.
But, what else could I have done? Why didn't I instantly say a prayer for her in WalMart? Why didn't I give her money or pay for her son's clothes?
These questions boggle my mind and I felt an urgency to repent last night. I did repent, but then said a prayer with sincerity for the lady at WalMart and her family.
This has definitely created a spark in me. I should of been sensitive to the Holy Spirit and done something. Is it that the Holy Spirit didn't tell me to do anything?
Thus I pray...
Lord, we, your children- the bride of Christ, are not here for ourselves. We are here to serve you and to serve others. Lord, again, forgive me for not moving quickly to help this lady by saying a prayer for her. Though I knew you hear our prayers and it's never too late, I pray now that you continue to provide for her family during this time of trial. Teach us how to be ready in season and out of season like your word says in 2Timothy. Teach us how to be prepared when you bring someone our way who needs us. Lord, this I ask, in Jesus Holy name. Amen.