We have all had them. People God brings across your path to minister to, seemingly out of the blue, seemingly random. Except we know, it was God appointed.
Did we answer the call? It could be calling someone who is lonely and discouraged and something just nudges you to do so, and you know that nudge is from the Lord. Or, it could be someone who is in a critical crisis and you are the one God uses to help them through.
A few years ago, a friend of mine met someone who recently moved into her neighborhood, and this lady and her husband had a two month old baby boy who had just died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The lady, Diana, was inconsolable in her grief to the point the husband was seriously considering committing her to a hospital. Linda, my friend who had just learned of all this going on with her new neighbors, shared all of this in a prayer request at our women’s Bible Study. She also shared that Diana and her husband were not Christians, and did not have any family in town.
I knew instantly, this was one of those times God was bringing someone across my path and I was supposed to help.
I hadn’t known Linda a very long time, and she wasn’t aware that many years ago, I had a newborn baby girl that only lived two days. I knew about loss and grief. I knew the pain of going through that difficult journey, but I also knew the Lord carried me through, both my husband and myself. I wanted Diana to know that with time and God’s help, we do move from the hurting place of grief to a healing place.
Linda called Diana and asked her if she would be willing to talk to me, and told her a little of my story. Diana was quite eager to meet with me. She was thankful to have someone to talk to about her loss. Having no family in town and a husband who couldn’t express his own grief had been a major contributing factor to the extreme downward spiral she found herself in.
I met with her many times, and Linda checked on her frequently since she was on the same street. Diana was saved during that time, and she immediately improved in her ability to cope with her loss. She read her Bible every day and started going to church and asked us to pray for her husband. He was glad she was doing better, but didn’t seem to be open to the gospel as Diana had been. But, we all kept praying for him.
I continued to regularly meet with Diana for over a year, and I will always remember the day she said she knew she was doing much better because she had begun to enjoy things again that she hadn’t enjoyed in a long time. And that getting together with me for lunch was no longer just to talk about how she was struggling, but to talk about all kinds of things, small talk, normal talk of family and church and work. She knew she had come a long way when she just wanted to get together for the purpose of spending time with a friend.
That’s when I knew she was in a healing place.
May we always keep our heart open to however God wants to use us to walk beside a hurting person, whether they have lost a job, their health, or a loved one. When God calls us to this duty, may we answer the call.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Who has God brought across your path? Has God used you recently to walk beside someone during a difficult season? Or has He brought someone along to be the person to come beside you when you were hurting? I’d love to hear your stories…
Kathy Cheek, In Quiet Places